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UP panchayat polls to be held on time: Minister

Thursday - May 28, 2020 11:46 am , Category : INDIA
Lucknow, May 28 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Minister for Panchayati Raj Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary has refuted speculations that the panchayat elections may be delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and expressed confidence that the polls would be held on time in December.
The deadline for completing the panchayat elections is December 25. The State Election Commission (SEC) also maintains that there is no need to panic fearing that delays might allow administrators to take over.
The minister told reporters that, at least, six months are needed for the completion of delimitation works in four districts, reconstitution of 1,000 village panchayats in 48 districts and roll revision and the reservation of wards.
Singh maintained that he is confident of holding the three-tier rural elections on time as seven months are still left for the tenure of village panchayats, blocks and district heads to complete.
The minister said that though the panchayat elections would not be fought on party lines, political parties are free to support any candidate. He said that the Yogi Adityanath government is committed to empowering village panchayats and strengthening the democracy at grassroot-level.
Elections to nearly 59,000 village panchayats in Uttar Pradesh are to be held by December 15 when the term of the existing panchayats expires. Several small villages have been grouped into one panchayat.
Nearly 1,000 gram panchayats have been integrated into town areas after 2015 panchayat elections.
There is no need of a full-fledged rapid survey of the backward castes this time, the minister said, adding that the task of earmarking seats for scheduled tribes, backward castes and women candidates in wards takes time and cannot be completed in a hurry, the minister said.
Ved Prakash Verma, additional commissioner, SEC, said that the commission is geared up to hold the elections on time, provided the state government completes the work related to the roll revision, reservation of wards and the partial delimitation soon.
Verma said that the SEC has drawn up a strategy to reduce the time span in holding the elections in different phases and will be completing the election process in a shorter time.
The role of village panchayats, in the Corona pandemic, is now crucial in providing employment to migrant workers under MGNREGA.

--IANS amita/in