Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) on Saturday started the process for the crucial three-tier panchayat polls in the state.
Over 123 million voters are eligible to cast their votes in the four-phased polling through ballot papers to be held on April 15,19, 26 and 29 with counting of votes on May 2.
Each voter will have the privilege to cast four votes, one each for village panchayat member, Pradhan, Khetra panchayat member and zila panchayat member.
The nomination process for the first phase of the Panchayat elections in the state commenced on Saturday and the process will go till Sunday when the candidates can file their nominations for the posts of Gram Pradhan, Gram Panchayat, Khetra and Zila Panchayat members in 18 districts of the state.
The nomination papers will be filed between 0800 hrs and 1700 hrs at all the development block headquarters in the districts on the two days.
The nominations papers of the first phase will be checked on April 5 while last date of withdrawal and allocation of the symbols is April 7.
Additional Election Commissioner of the State Election Commission (SEC), Ved Prakash Verma here on Saturday said instructions have been issued to all the District Magistrates that the crowd of supporters of the candidates coming to the Block Headquarters should be stopped outside the radius of 200 meters on the nomination day. Only the candidate, his election agent, proposer and one more person would be allowed to enter the nomination room.
In the first phase the total number of tehsil is 88 which includes 312 blocks, and candidates will file their nominations for 14789 gram pradhan , 186583 gram panchayat members , 19313 khetra panchayat members and 779 zila panchayat members posts.
The SEC has issued a Covid-19 guideline directing according to which if a Covid infected patient or a person living with him wants to contest the election, he can submit his nomination letter to the returning officer by his proposer or any other authorized person. Such persons will not themselves appear before the Returning Officer. Soap, water and sanitizer will be arranged for the persons coming to present the nomination papers in the Returning Officer’s Room and staff will be deployed for its use.
The SEC has also directed that the attendants had to put on a mask to present the nomination papers. People will not be allowed to enter the room of the Returning Officer without a mask. Only the candidate and one other person with him will be allowed to enter the Returning Officer’s Room for submission of nomination papers.
Arrangements will be made for other candidates and their attendants to sit outside the waiting room in such a way that proper social distance can be followed.
The districts that are included in the first phase of UP Panchayat Elections are– Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Hathras, Agra, Kanpur Nagar, Jhansi, Mahoba, Prayagraj, Rae Bareli, Hardoi, Ayodhya, Shravasti, Santakbirnagar, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur and Bhadohi.