Hyderabad: A high turnout of over 82.31 per cent was reported in the first phase of gram panchayat polls in Andhra Pradesh, which was marred by stray clashes between workers of different political parties, officials said.
Stray incidents of violence were also reported after the counting of votes with group clashes occurring in some places.
Meanwhile, the State Election Commission has had to postpone till July 31 polls in 11 gram panchayats (seven in Adilabad and four in Visakhapatnam district) due to heavy rain. Re-election has been ordered in four villages due to errors in ballot papers.
Elections were held to 5,792 gram panchayats in 25 revenue divisions spread across 22 districts of the state in the first phase today.
Counting of votes was taken up an hour after polling ended at 1 PM.
Sporadic violence took place in Nalgonda district where police had to use mild force at Jangampalli village after Congress workers attacked the winner of the sarpanch post, said to be a Telangana Rashtra Samiti sympathiser.
Congress and TRS workers tried to barge into a counting centre at Tirumalagiri in Warangal district, but were dispersed by police.
Some tension also occurred in West Godavari district at a village in Kamavarapukota mandal following counting of votes although nothing untoward was reported.
Polling for the second and third phases is scheduled for July 27 and 31.
The term of the gram panchayats, the lowest tier in the three-tier Panchayat Raj Institutions in AP, had ended in August 2011, but elections are being held now after a delay of about two years.
Although gram panchayat elections are held on an apolitical basis, all the major parties in the state have started claiming victory over each other in the contest.