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Karnataka Gram Panchayat Polls in two Phases on Dec 22 and 27

In Nation, Political News
November 30, 2020

Karnataka State Election Commission on Monday announced polls to 5,762 gram panchayats in the state in two phases on December 22 and 27. The results for both phases will be declared on December 30.

State Election Commissioner B Basavaraju said the model code of conduct has come into immediate effect with the announcement of the poll schedule. All the districts in the state will go to polls in two phases, and the decision to this effect was taken keeping in mind the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

Out of 6,004 gram panchayats, 5,762 will go to polls in two phases.

According to poll officials, gram panchayats that are not going to polls include- 162 whose term is yet to be completed, six regarding whom cases are pending in the court, and 74 that are either completely (33) or partially (41) upgraded to town panchayats.

The announcement comes after the High Court recently providing three weeks time, had asked the poll panel to announce the dates for gram panchayat polls.

In all there are about 2.97 crore electors who can vote to elect 92,121 gram panchayat members for which 45,128 polling booths will be set up, and over 2.70 lakh polling officials will be deployed.

EVMs will be used in Bidar district and ballot papers will be used in other places.

SOP will be strictly followed for the smooth conduct of polls amid COVID situation, the commission said. Voting will be held between 7 am to 5 pm on polling days and measures are in place to allow Covid-19 voters to cast their ballot during the last hour.

While the election notification will be issued for first and second phase on December 7 and 11 respectively, last date for filing of nominations will be December 11 and 16, and December 14 and 19 will be the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

Repolling if necessary can be held on December 24 and 29 respectively for the first and second phase.

Reacting to announcement of gram panchayat polls, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said these polls are as crucial as assembly and Lok Sabha polls as it helps in strengthening the organisation from the grassroot level.

He said, already five to six teams of BJP leaders, under the leadership of state unit chief are travelling across the state preparing for gram panchayat polls. “We will take utmost interest in these polls, though candidates will not face this election on party symbol, we want candidates supported by us to win,” he added.

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar had last month said experts have advised for postponement of the polls at least till February end as they expressed apprehension that conducting elections may lead to “door delivery of virus” as door-to-door campaigning is crucial during these local body elections.