Gujarat: 74 pc voter turnout in gram panchayat polls

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Voting To 8,690 gram panchayats concluded peacefully on Sunday, said an official of Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC).

As per a provisional voting figure, the elections witnessed an average voter turnout of 74 per cent; the numbers may go up by a few per cent when the Commission issues final voting figures.

A senior official of the SEC said that overall voting has remained peaceful barring a few scattered incidents.

Following technical reasons or error in allocation of symbols of candidates, the SEC has ordered re-polling in five gram panchayats of Panchamals, Amreli and Porbandar districts.The five gram panchayats include Viraniya and Deloch of Panchamahals, Hadala and Sarambhada of Amreli and Rinavada of Porbandar. Re-polling will be held Monday.

Around 1.82 crore voters were expected to cast their votes in the elections for 8,513 Sarpanch and over 48,500 ward members from 8,690 villages.

In all, 27,200 candidates were in the fray for the post of Sarpanch and around 1.20 lakh candidates for wards. Out of the total around 23,112 voting booths for the elections, around 6,700 booths were declared sensitive and over 3,000 as very sensitive.

The elections of around 10,800 gram panchayats – 10,221 Sarpanch and 89,049 wards – were announced by Gujarat State Election Commission in November.

Of these nearly 1,165 gram panchayats – with equal number of Sarpanchs and 9,613 wards – have been declared Samras Gram Panchayats, where the village chief and entire body is co-opted.

As per the SEC, apart from 1,165 Samras gram panchayats, there were around 6,476 gram panchayats where either the Sarpanch or any of the wards had been elected uncontested.

In these 6,476 gram panchayats, candidates for 473 posts of Sarpanch and around 27,400 ward members has been elected uncontested. At the same time, in around 2,650 gram panchayats, the seats of around 65 Sarpanch and around 3,300 wards remained vacant without any nomination for various reasons.

Counting of votes has been scheduled for December 21.

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