Panchayat election on August 8, counting of ballots on August 12, SEC declare schedule

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, July 10, 2024

Setting all speculations at rest the state election commission (SEC) today has declared the detailed schedule of three-tier Panchayat elections . Speaking to media persons in the state secretariat the state election commissioner Sharadindu Chowdhury said that the elections will be held as per existing rules an no provision for online submission of nomination etc can be made, as demanded by the opposition CPI (M) and Congress.

According to the schedule announced by the state election commission the term of the present panchayat structure will end on August 4 and elections need to be held before the expiry of the term. But according to the schedule announced the elections to the three-tier Panchayats will come off on August 8, followed by counting of ballots on August 12 and the election process will come to an end on August 17. The state election commissioner gave no explanation for the four days gap period between the expiry of the term present panchayats on August 4 and holding of elections four days later despite there being clear provision that elections need to be held ahead of expiry of the term of panchayats.

There are 12,94,153 voters in the 606 panchayats spread over 35 blocks and all eight districts of the state. There will be altogether 2650 polling stations for the polls which will start on the scheduled day at 7-00 AM and will end at 4-00 PM. The counting of ballots at all block headquarters will commence at 8-00 AM and will continue till end. Besides, the district magistrate and collector of all eight districts will be the returning officers for the polls.

The SEC Sharadindu Chowdhury said that the electoral code of conduct in all the panchayats has taken effect with the declaration of poll dates and the process of nomination shall start from tomorrow , the 11th August and shall close on 18th August except on public holiday in between. The scrutiny of nomination will be on August 19 and the last date for withdrawing nomination has been fixed on August 22. The SEC said that appropriate security measures is being put in place to ensure a free and fair election to the three tier panchayat which also comprise 35 panchayat samitis and 8 zilla parishads.

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