Panchayat polls on July 23, 27& 31
Hyderabad: After a gap of seven years the gram panchayat elections in the state will be finally held this...
Hyderabad: After a gap of seven years the gram panchayat elections in the state will be finally held this month. As per the schedule released by the Election Commission on Wednesday the polls are to be conducted in three phases between July 23 and 31. A total of 3.93 crore voters including 1.97 crore women voters would avail their franchise in the elections. The number of panchayats going to polls is 21, 491 whereas the number of wards is 2,17,578. Elections will not be on party symbols. State Election Commissioner P Ramakanth Reddy issued election notification and election code of conduct came in to effect immediately. The first phase of the election will be held on July 23, second phase on July 27 and third phase on July 31. Counting of votes will take place on the same days of polling for all three phases from 2 pm. Since Sarpanch election is direct, upa-sarpanch will be elected by ward members plus the sarpanch on the same days by show of hands. Dates for nominations are from July 9 to 13. Dates for scrutiny and rejections are July 14 and 15 respectively. The candidates can withdraw their nominations by July 17 and the same day the list of candidates would be announced. Commissioner said that, "If for any reason, the election of upa sarpanch is not held on the aforesaid dates, it would be held on the next day". Election to the 6,863 gram panchayats and 69,450 village wards would be held in first phase. 7,738 panchayats and 78,610 village wards would vote in second phase and 6,890 panchayats and 69,965 wards in third phase. He said that about 1,32,066 ballot boxes have been kept ready for the election and the commission brought 12,000 ballot boxes from Karnataka for the purpose. Commission appointed three observers for each district including two IAS and one IFS officer. "IAS officers would keep an eye on the election campaign and other issues and the IFS officer would observe election expenditure of the candidates. Reddy will write to the Chief Secretary regarding the code of conduct. Due to the code the ongoing works and tours by ministers will not be permitted. Reddy said that elections to the villages which had already been merged and to be merged in GHMC would not be held. "Elections to the gram panchayats whose tenure has completed and whose tenure will ende within three months would be conducted at present", he said, adding that elections to the panchayats where cases pending in courts and panchayts whose tenure is more than three months are also not being conducted. On 'paid news', he said that the Commission decided to constitute committees at district level to check the paid news phenomenon. He said that special security arrangements were being made in the sensitive and most vulnerable villages. He said that the election campaign would be reviewed through web cameras. He said that the panchayat elections are being conducted with the powers entrusted to the Commission under section 13, 14 and 201 of A P Panchayatraj Act. The Commissioner refused to answer questions if the code will bar Telangana announcement if a decision is taken, calling it hypo- thetical.