Karnataka panchayat polls in two phases on December 22, 27

Representational image   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The State Election Commission on Monday announced a two-phase poll to over 5,700 gram panchayats across 30 districts in Karnataka. Elections will be held on December 22 and 27, and the results will be announced on December 30.

Announcing the schedule of polls, State Election Commissioner B. Basavaraju said that all the districts will have two phase polling, and the decision was taken in the light of COVID -19. The model code of conduct for elections will come into force with immediate effect.

HC direction

The announcement comes in the light of Karnataka High Court providing three weeks’ time to the SEC to announce dates for conduct gram panchayat polls.

“EVMs will be used in Bidar district and ballot papers in the rest of the State. The SEC will notify the polls on Monday, and in turn the deputy commissioners will notify the first phase and second phase of polls on December 7 and December 11 respectively.”

In all, 5,762 gram panchayats out of 6,004 gram panchayats will be going for polls in these two phases.

Mr. Basavaraj said that 162 gram panchayats whose tenure will end after December 20 will not be going in for polls. Similarly, 74 gram panchayats which have been upgraded or partially upgraded will also not go for polls along 6 gram panchayats that have litigation in court.

The 2.96 crore electors will vote to elect 92,121 gram panchayat members in all. As many as 45,128 polling booths will be set up, and about 2.7 lakh polling officials will be deployed to oversee elections.

According to schedule, the last date for filing nomination will be December 11 and December 17 for first and second phase respectively, and polling will take place on December 22 and December 27. Dates for re-polling -if necessary- will be on December 24 and December 29. Counting will commence on December 30 from 8 a.m. and results would be declared the same day.

COVID 19 precautions

In the light of COVID-19, adequate precautions have been put in place by the State Election Commission. While the number of voters from booth have been reduced from 1,500 to 1,000, for the first time Angawadi and Asha workers along with Health officials are being drafted for poll duty. Hand sanitisers will be made available in polling booths.

“COVID-19 positives and suspects will be allowed to vote in the last hour of polling, and this will be assisted by health officials.” Mr. Basavaraj said. The elections will be held between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. “A standard operating procedure has been put in place to conduct elections safely. Voters need not fear about the pandemic,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 7:14:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-panchayat-polls-in-two-phases-on-december-22-27/article33211076.ece

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