Hyderabad: Unanimous elections for gram panchayats are turning to be a blessing in disguise for TRS leadership to strengthen itself in the rural areas and taking it closer to every household.
Of the 4,479 gram panchayats facing polls in the first phase on January 21, single nominations were filed for the sarpanch post in 320 gram panchayats and most of these contestants are learnt to be either TRS activists or supporters.
Soon after KT Rama Rao took over as the working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the party leadership has been spreading awareness over benefits of unanimous elections to the gram panchayats and encouraged the TRS leaders in the rural areas to strive for it. Even before the State Election Commission released notification, the TRS leaders kept visiting villages and explained to them the benefits of the unanimous election.
While gram panchayats with over 5,000 population will get Rs 10 lakh incentive from the government in case of unanimous election of the panchayat, those with less than 5,000 population will receive Rs 5 lakh. Further, the ruling party proposed the enhancement of the incentive by Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively based on the population.
“The amount of Rs 10 lakh is a huge amount for a village which can be used for development activities such as improving roads, drainage, community halls, street lighting and other infrastructure. The phenomenon is catching up.
We expect at least 10 per cent of total 12,751 gram panchayats will opt for the unanimous elections across the State. Though only 320 villages witnessed single nomination for the sarpanch post when the schedule for nomination filing ended, we are expecting it to grow as we still have time to withdraw nominations,” a TRS senior leader told ‘Telangana Today’.
TRS sources said the awareness programme also served another purpose for getting closer to people in rural areas strengthening the party from the grassroots level. Since the Legislative Assembly was dissolved in September last, the TRS partymen have been working closely with citizens and were able to strike a chord with a majority of them which reflected in the Assembly results. The TRS leadership is keen to continue the rapport with citizens and become a bridge between people and the State government.
“Our idea is to make TRS a household name. Though we won about 48 per cent votes in the recent Assembly elections, the party leadership is of the view that the name of the TRS must be etched in the hearts of people forever and ensure more victories for the party that realised separate State as well as practised development and welfare. Thus, the unanimous elections will help the party strengthen its roots,” said another senior leader from the ruling party.