All preparations have been completed for the first phase of panchayat elections in the state, for which the voting takes places today (Sunday). Officials in the state election commission said elaborate security arrangements have been made to conduct the polls smoothly and deal with any untoward incident.
Haryana state election commissioner Rajeev Sharma said the elections will be held in 47 blocks, for which 8,981 polling stations have been set up where 46,59,922 voters will cast their votes. Sharma said the polling will go on till 4 pm. Those who will be in the queue or on the premises of the polling booth up to this time will be given a slip to cast their vote. Immediately after that, counting will begin for the posts of sarpanch and panch and results will be declared soon after that, said the official.
A control room has been set up at the district headquarters and helpline numbers have been made available by the election commission so that people can file their complaints related to the election and voting on the polling day. Besides, the duty magistrates and nodal officers have been appointed to monitor the voting.
Rohtak superintendent of police Shashank Anand said: “A multi-tier deployment will be made at the polling booths. From the security point of view, eight villages have been identified as super-sensitive and heavy police deployment will be made there.”
While electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used for the sarpanch and zila parishad elections, the traditional ballot paper method will be employed for the panch and block samiti elections. Besides the security personnel, a five-member team will be deputed inside every polling booth. To ensure uninterrupted power supply, field officers and officials of the power and engineering departments have been deployed. The district administrations are ensuring all basic amenities, like first aid, supply of drinking water, shelter, ramp and toilets for senior citizens, women and physically challenged voters at polling stations.
Election commissioner Rajeev Sharma said that in the first phase, 3,339 candidates were contesting elections for 416 wards of zila parishads, 4,883 candidates for 1,221 wards of panchayat samitis, 11,296 for 2,583 posts of sarpanch and 24,143 for 26,248 posts of panch. These include 2,079 men and 1,260 women candidates contesting elections for zila parishad, 3,231 men and 1,652 women contesting elections for panchayat samitis, 7,157 men and 4,139 women in the fray for the post of sarpanch and 14,779 men and 9,364 women contesting elections for the post of panch, said Sharma.
Poll postponed at Kurukshetra village
On the directions of the high court and request of the Kurukshetra district election officer, the state election commission has postponed the election to the post of sarpanch at Ramgarh Ror gram panchayat in Pehowa block of Kurukshetra to January 24. The allotment of symbol for the post will be made after 3pm on January 13, said Rajeev Sharma.