AP village that’s gone for unanimous polls for 57 years

Bhyripuram (Andhra Pradesh), Feb 9 : Bhyripuram, a small village in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district has emerged as a champion of unanimous elections in the past 57 years, with no panchayat elections being held there.

All panchayat elections in these six decades did not see the villagers queuing up at polling centres or showing their fingers to get the indelible mark as the village united to project one single candidate to be the winner, without going for electoral fights.

This unanimous election pattern has been consistent for both ward members elections as well as the sarpanch position.

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With a population of 1,500 people, there are 1,100 voters and eight wards in the village, all of whom avail the financial incentives offered by the state government for going unanimous.

“Whenever we have elections, we all sit together and go for unanimous election to select the sarpanch and ward members agreeable to everybody”, said a resident of the village.

In the latest election, the village elected Pullati Ramadevi as the Sarpanch.

However, Bhyripuram villagers rescind this unanimous pattern for Assembly and Parliamentary elections to take their respective political party positions.

Though they separate during those polls, immediately after that they get back to normal unity.

It is this unity which could be attributed to their resilience even though they are located in a geography infamous of kidney ailments and cyclones.

Prasad Rao, a village resident said that Bhyripuram has the presence of all the parties but when it comes to village development through Sarpanch elections, everyone is united to lean towards the party which is in power.

All the villagers, including natives settled in different countries, actively engage on social media to update themselves on the state of affairs in the village and its developmental needs.

According to Venkat Rao, empowered by this unity, the villagers managed to lay cement roads, develop local temple and also provide drinking water to all the houses.

Importantly, he said that every street has drainage system in the village. In case some amenity is missing, Rao said all the villagers sit together and work towards achieving it.

However, members of only one family have reaped the benefits of this unanimous unity, Pullata Vasudeva Naidu. All the sarpanchs of Bhyripuram came from this one family.

As sarpanchs, Naidu was succeeded by his son Dasaradha Ramayya and daughter-in-law Prabhavati. In 2021, Naidu’s another daughter-in-law, Pullata Rama Devi, was elected as the sarpanch.

Devi said all the villagers met together to choose the sarpanch and stated that she would develop the village with everybody’s cooperation.

The village located 102 km northeast of Visakhapatnam on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal sea also has another claim to fame, not even a single police case being registered on its villagers until now.

As it is impossible to be dispute-free, any disagreements will get peacefully resolved by the villagers and restricted to Bhyripuram, thereby avoiding the ignominy of going to a police station.

According to a Kaviti mandalam police official, no criminal, murder or any kind of police case came to the notice of their police station.

–IANS
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