HYDERABAD : The first phase of the Telangana gram panchayat elections ended on Monday with 86% of the voters coming out to vote. Early trends around 8.30 p showed Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)-backed candidates winning about 2,500 of the sarpanch seats, while Congress-backed candidates reportedly secured a little over 800 of the posts of the 4,470 gram panchayat which went to polls.

In the first phase of the elections, 4,470 gram panchayats went to polls, while polling for the remaining 12,732 will take place in two other phases on 25 and 30 January. A statement from the Telangana State Election Commission on Monday evening said results for 769 sarpanch seats were declared unanimously.

The term of the previous bunch of rural elected representatives ended on 31 July last year, but the polls were not held by the TRS government, which also dissolved the assembly on September 6, advancing the state elections.The ongoing elections will also cover newly created gram panchayats (after creation of 21 new districts).

Though the elections are held without any involvement of political parties and party symbols, all major parties have thrown their weight behind their sympathisers.

“Usually the government tries to make panchayats one-sided. The TRS also tried to mould the state to be without any opposition from gram panchayats to Parliament," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy. He added that the majority of the sarpanches support the government.

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