Panchayat poll in Bihar to be held from Sept. 24 to Dec. 12

The election could not be held earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The long-awaited election for the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Bihar will be held in 11 phases from September 24 to December 12 this year.

The notification for the polls will be issued by State Election Commission on August 24.

The Cabinet approved the government’s proposal for the election on August 17. The polling is scheduled to be held on September 24 and 29, October 8, 20 and 24, November 3, 15, 24 and 29 and December 8 and 12.

The panchayat election could not be held earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PRI bodies of panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads had to be constituted by June 15.

The State government, through an ordinance, had earlier constituted advisory committees at panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad levels, and later the Assembly passed an amendment Bill to give legislative approval to the ordinance.

Earlier, the office of the State Chief Electoral officer had said that the local body poll would be held through both ballot papers and Electronic Voting Machines.

The election will be held for the posts of mukhiyas, sarpanchs, zilla parishad members, panchayat samiti members and ward members.

Additional Chief Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat Department, Sanjay Kumar said that polling would be held first in those areas which were not been affected by flood or were less affected. Several districts are currently reeling under floods.

In an apparent bid to woo voters, the government recently invited tenders for different welfare schemes in rural areas such as putting up solar lights in over 8,300 panchayats and 143 urban bodies.

However, Panchayati Raj Minister Samrat Choudhary said that it was not a new scheme as only “bulbs of high power will be installed to illuminate streets in those areas”.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal protested against the government’s welfare schemes when panchayat polls were round the corner.

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