Bihar panchayat polls likely in 9-10 phases, starting mid-March; no 2 child norm
- The state government has no plans to implement the two child norm for candidates in the upcoming panchayat polls.
Bihar state election commission (SEC) is likely to hold the Panchayat polls in the state in nine or ten phases, starting mid-March; the poll schedule is to be sent to the state government soon, said officials.
Several rounds of discussions between the state government and the state poll panel have been held on this issue. “The panchayat polls will begin from mid-March tentatively. There will be nine to ten phases. The SEC will take a final call on it,” said Amrit Lal Meena, additional chief secretary, panchayati raj department.
Incidentally, Meena said the state government has no plans to implement the two child norm for candidates in the upcoming panchayat polls. “No amendment in the act is proposed. The election will take place as per the existing provisions,” he said.
The SEC has started publishing the list of polling centres for physical verification and invited claims/ objections from the general public by February 11.
Public is encouraged to object if anything is found wrong with the polling stations announced by the commission. An objection can be raised, for example, if the polling station is housed in a private property, at Mukhiya’s house, in a police station, inside a hospital or dispensary or if it is more than 2 km away.
“The field officials have been asked for physical verification of the booths. Once we get feedback on any inconveniently located booth or on other anomalies, we will set up new polling stations,” said a senior SEC officer.
The SEC has identified 1.19 lakh polling stations so far. The final publication of the list of polling stations will be done on March 2, the official said.
Besides, the draft of the updated ward-wise voters’ list has been published on February 1 and the finalised list will be published on February 19. There are a total of 2.58 lakh posts in the three-tier rural local bodies for which elections will be held in the state.
The SEC was also in discussion over the security cover for the polls and the logistics for commissioning electronic voting machines (EVMs), to be used for the first time in panchayat elections.
“The election this time would be less staggered and the process would be completed by May. The schedule would be sent to the government in one week’s time in all likelihood,” said another official.