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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

65-70% polling in third phase of panchayat polls in Uttarakhand

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Dehradun, June 25, 2014
First Published: 15:31 IST(25/6/2014) | Last Updated: 15:37 IST(25/6/2014)

The third phase of panchayat elections was held on Tuesday in 31 blocks of Uttarakhand including the two blocks of Doiwala and Raipur which fall in Dehradun. State election commissioner Suvardhan said that by 5 pm, 65-70% polling had been held in the state.

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The election commissioner said that around 12,000 candidates who had taken part in three tier panchayat elections in the state have been found ineligible for contesting the elections this time as they have not given the details of their spending in the last elections.

The candidature of 219 persons has been cancelled for not presenting papers last time. In the entire state, elections were held in the 28 blocks of Naugaon, Chinyalisaur, Kirtinagar, Narendra nagar, Agastyamuni, Joshimath, Ghat, Dasholi, Kanalichhina, Moonakot, Vin, Rudrapur, Gadarpur, Kapkot, Champawat, Lamgada, Dhauladevi, Takula, Bhainsiyachhana, Hawalbagh, Doiwala, Raipur, Bhimtal, Haldwani, Pauri, Pavo, Khirsu and Kaljikhal.

Senior officials of the district including the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police supervised the election process in Dehradun and visited the two blocks of Doiwala and Raipur where polling was held on 613 booths. The counting of votes would be held on June 27. Apart from police, the jawans of Home Guards and Prantiya Rakshak Dak (PRD) were also deployed as an additional security measure.

Some voters created a ruckus at the Nehrugram Inter College polling booth in Dehradun over irregularities in the voters list.


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more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
 
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
 
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
 
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
 
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
 
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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