Polling for 2,723 panchayats in State today

20,157 in fray for ward member posts in first phase, counting in the evening

The stage is set for the first phase of the Gram Panchayat (GP) elections in 12 districts of the State on Tuesday (February 9). For the first time in the local body elections, NOTA option is given to the voters.

Elections for 525 out of 3,249 village sarpanch posts and 12,185 out of 32,502 ward member posts were unanimous.

A total of 43,601 candidates are in the fray for 2,723 and 20,157 sarpanch and ward member posts respectively, said Panchayat Raj Department (PRD) Principal Secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi.

Addressing media persons along with Panchayat Raj Commissioner M. Girija Shankar here on Monday, Mr. Dwivedi said 29,732 polling stations were set up in the villages.

Of them, 3,458 were identified as sensitive and 3,594 as hyper sensitive. A total of 3,047 micro observers were appointed to watch the polling process and 16,688 big ballot boxes, 8,503 medium size and 21,338 small boxes were arranged.

Necessary COVID-19 prevention measures were taken and due priority has been accorded to security. Nearly 53,000 personnel would undertake counting of votes in the evening.

A command and control centre was set up at the office of the Commissioner of Panchayat Raj. People afflicted with COVID-19 have to cast their votes in the last hour.

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