Himachal panchayats to go to polls in Nov-Dec: Minister
The polls will be held in 3,226 panchayats in a phased-manner and the government will provide face covers, sanitisers, gloves at polling stations as per the Elections Commission guidelines to prevent the spread of virus.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 17:13 IST
The elections for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are likely be held in November-December as per fresh guidelines issued by the Election Commission in wake of Covid-19 pandemic, panchayati raj and rural development minister Virender Kanwar said on Sunday.
While interacting with media on sidelines of a district-level review meeting in Bilaspur, Kanwar said the 2011 reservation roaster will be implemented in the elections. “The polls will be held in 3,226 panchayats in a phased-manner and the government will provide face covers, sanitisers, gloves at polling stations as per the Elections Commission guidelines to prevent the spread of virus,” he said.
“The Election Commission had asked the government if the panchayats elections are feasible in the state. We have assured them that the state government is fully geared to conduct the polls,” he added.
Kanwar said assembly elections are being held in some states and there is no point in withholding the panchayat polls.
The minister said the seats will be reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes on the bases of population. “Reservation will not be applicable in the panchayats where the SC, ST population is less than 5%. However, 50% seats will be reserved for women candidates and 15% for Other Backward Classes (OBC) candidates,” he said.
Kanwar said deputy commissioners have been entrusted the task to finalise the reservation roaster in their respective districts on the basis of 2011 census. The seats reserved for women in the previous elections will be opened for general and other category candidates.
He said given the situation due to Covid-19, the state government has cancelled the delimitation and formation of new panchayats. The five-year term of panchayats is ending in December this year. As per the rules, the polls to constitute new panchayats must be held before the term ends. The panchayat elections in the state were last held in 2015.