Voting to 10,879 gram panchayats on Dec 19: SEC

Ballot papers will be used for voting purposes because each village will have about 8 to 12 wards and we do not have so many EVMs— Sanjay Prasad,State Election Commissioner

Elections to 10,879 gram panchayats in Gujarat will be held on December 19, the State Election Commission (SEC) announced on Monday. The counting will take place on December 21.

“Ballot papers will be used for voting purposes because each village will have about 8 to 12 wards and we do not have so many Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs),” State Election Commissioner Sanjay Prasad told media persons at Gandhinagar.

A total of 54,387 polling boxes have been arranged for 2.53 crore voters at 27,000 polling booths. The polling will be held from 6 am to 7 pm. “While general polls will be held for 10,170 gram panchayats and 63 gram panchayats that have undergone divisions, bypolls will be held for 697 gram panchayats, where either sarpanch or ward members will be elected,” Prasad added.

During the panchayat polls, only candidates contesting for the post of sarpanch will have to submit an account of expenses incurred during the election campaign. Villages with 12 wards have an expense limit of Rs 15,000, while villages have 13-22 wards have a limit of Rs 30,000 and those with 23 or more wards have an expense limit of Rs 45,000.

“The Samras gram panchayats will not see any voting and 15 per cent of the villages going to polls are tribal,” the official added. In the Samras gram panchayats, sarpanch and ward members are elected with consensus. Though gram panchayat elections are not fought on party symbols, it assumes significance ahead of the state assembly elections in 2022.

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