Panchayat polls witnessed 81.78% voter turnout: SEC

State Election Commissioner (SEC) N. Ramesh Kumar has expressed satisfaction that the panchayat elections were conducted successfully under challenging circumstances, adding that the polls witnessed an overall voter turnout percentage of 81.78.

“Elections were conducted for 13,097 sarpanches posts while 2,197 sarpanches, 16.77% of the total, were elected unanimously. Elections were held for 1,31,023 ward members and 47,459 (36.22% of the total) wards had unanimous elections,” Mr. Ramesh Kumar told the media here on Monday.

This is reasonable when compared to the unanimous polls for 1,980 of the 12,740 sarpanches posts and 44,448 of the 1,29,316 ward member posts respectively during the polls last held in 2013, he pointed out.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar said the elections to panchayats have paved the way for release of funds through the Finance Commission. “The elections could be held due to the dedication and commitment of the government employees at large and the police force which ensured that there were no major untoward incident,” he said.

The impartiality in rising up to the challenges has established the credibility of the State administration as one of the best in the country, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said, acknowledging the role of Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das and DGP D. Gautam Sawang in the smooth conduct of the polls.

Referring to the decision on MPTC and ZPTC elections, the SEC said it would be subject to the High Court judgment on some matters that are currently under its examination.

‘NOTA option will beavailable in ULB elections’

Meaanwhle, Mr. Ramesh Kumar exhorted the Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and SPs to strive for the peaceful conduct of the municipal elections.

“The NOTA option will be available,” he said in a video-conference on the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections on Monday.

He instructed the officials to keep a vigil on the elections through web-casting and CCTV cameras to check malpractice. He cautioned the election staff against being complacent in following COVID protocols. Emphasis has to be laid on strict implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, he added.

Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das and DGP D. Gautam Sawang were among the officials present in the meeting.

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