The panchayat elections are contested on a partyless basis. But the fact is that the village politics is unimaginable without the involvement of the respective political parties. Without support of one or the other party, the contesting candidates cannot survive or face the elections. As the first phase polls results came out, both the YCP and the TDP have claimed that the candidates supported by them got bigger victories.
The ruling YCP leaders are claiming that their candidates won nearly 500 out of the total 580 sarpanch results in the first phase. Whereas, the TDP is claiming that their party has won a significant number of seats. There is no talk about the candidates supported by the BJP and Jana Sena winning anywhere. Since the candidates do not use party symbols, it would not be possible to say with clarity about which party has got more victories.
Interestingly, in many places, the rival groups within the YCP contested the elections. The TDP has reached agreements with one of these groups to support them in this election in return for their support in the 2024 assembly election. This has given a rude jolt to the ruling YCP in such places.
The Opposition is welcoming the far higher percentage of voter turnout on the polling day. It says that the higher voter turnout indicates the rising anti-establishment feelings among the people.