Bihar panchayat polls from Sep 24 to Dec 12; both EVMs, ballot papers to be used

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Updated: August 18, 2021 11:23 AM

The elections are scheduled to be held on September 24 and 29, October 8, 20 and 24, November 3, 15, 24 and 29 and December 8 and 12.

The elections are scheduled to be held on September 24 and 29, October 8, 20 and 24, November 3, 15, 24 and 29 and December 8 and 12.

The panchayat elections in Bihar will held in 11 phases from September 24 to December 12 this year. The notification will be issued by the state election commission on August 24 to hold the elections to the single posts of mukhiyas, sarpanchs, zila parishad members, panchayat samiti members and ward members.  

The elections are scheduled to be held on September 24 and 29, October 8, 20 and 24, November 3, 15, 24 and 29 and December 8 and 12.

The cabinet approved the state government’s proposal on holding elections to the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions in Bihar. While the PRI bodies of the panchayats, panchayat samities and zila parishads had to be constituted by June 15 this year, the elections could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, the office of the chief electoral officer had said that the local body polls in the state will see use of both EVMs and ballot papers, given non-availability of electronic voting machines to the extent required.

The office of the chief electoral officer had then said the State Election Commission (SEC) will use EVMs for election of over 8,000 posts of sarpanch and about 1.10 lakh panch positions. EVMs will be used for election of four positions: mukhiya, ward councillor, panchayat samiti and zila parshad or councillor.

The panchayat elections in the state are seen as a litmus test for the Nitish Kumar-led BJP government, which has been criticised lately over its handling of the migrant crisis amid the pandemic. The state witnessed the assembly polls amidst the pandemic last year where the BJP-JD(U) alliance secured a comfortable victory.

Ahead of the polls, the Bihar government has invited tenders for putting up 10 solar lights each in over 8,300 panchayats and 143 urban bodies. The scheme would be executed at a cost of about Rs 20,000 crore.

The move has been questioned by the Opposition owing to the corruption charges levelled against panchayat-level representatives in the last solar light scheme.

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