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3-phase panchayat poll from Dec 28

Shimla, The Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state with the State Election Commission announcing the schedule for elections to the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs). Chairman of the commission Dev Swaroop said the polls would be conducted in three phases on December 28 and 30 and January 1 in the entire state, except the zila parishad and two panchayat samitis of Lahaul-Spiti. In all, polling would take place for 3,195 out of the total 3,243 panchayats, 75 out of the 77 panchayat samitis and 11 out of the 12 zila parishads.

The term of the present bodies ends on January 25.

As per the schedule announced, nominations will be filed on December 10, 13 and 14 and scrutiny will take place on December 15. The last date for withdrawal is December 18. The counting of votes for the post of pradhan, up-pradhan and panch will be held on the same day. The counting of votes for panchayat samitis and zila parishad will take place on January 3 and 4 and the election process will be over on January 6.

Dev Swaroop said dates for the elections to 48 municipal bodies would be announced soon as the term of different municipal bodies was expiring on different dates.

People who have encroached upon government lands will not be eligible to contest elections and the respective returning officers will ask the candidates to make a declaration in this regard.

Each voter will cast five votes to elect panch, pradhan, up-pradhan, block samiti member and zila parishad member. As many as 3,195 panchayat presidents and vice-presidents, 19,159 panches, 1,651 block samiti members and 240 zila parishad members will be elected.

Fifty per cent seats have been reserved for women in all PRIs, except for the post of up-pradhan which is open.

Besides reservation for women, 15 per cent reservation for the OBC and proportionate reservation for the Scheduled Castes will also be made and there will be reservation within reservation for women.

About 19,000 polling booths will be set up for 46.11 lakh voters which include 2,332,121 men and 2,278,881 women.

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Author: ih

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