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Odisha Parties Urge SEC To Conduct Alcohol Free Panchayat Polls In 2022

Representatives of all political parties in Odisha Saturday urged the State Election Commissioner (SEC) A P Padhi to make the panchayat elections, likely to be held in early 2022, alcohol-free and raise the expenditure limits of candidates.


Representatives of all political parties in Odisha Saturday urged the State Election Commissioner (SEC) A P Padhi to make the panchayat elections, likely to be held in early 2022, alcohol-free and raise the expenditure limits of candidates.

The representatives expressed their views during an all-party meeting convened by the SEC here.

“All parties of different ideologies proposed to ban liquor at least for seven days before and on the polling day. They feel that a peaceful election can be conducted if the area remained alcohol-free,” Padhi said.

The elections for the three-tier Panchayati raj system are likely to be held in February or March next year. The tenure of the present Panchayati raj bodies will end in February 2022.

Padhi said a detailed discussion was also held on the limits of election expenditure by the candidates.

“Many political parties have proposed to increase the election expenditure of sarpanch and nominee candidates from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2 lakh and for Zilla Parishad candidates from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,” the SEC said.

Usually, the voting time for panchayat elections is from 7 am to 12 noon after which counting of votes is taken up at the polling booths itself.

As this time there will be a central counting instead of booths, most of the political parties suggested to the SEC to increase the duration of the polling period by two more hours.

Padhi said for the first time, it has been decided that the Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) number of the voters along with their names will be mentioned in the list to prepare an error-free voters’ list as demanded by different parties.

The SEC also informed that the voters’ list will be revised as per the Election Commission of India’s decision for the revision of photo electoral rolls with January 1, 2022, as the qualifying date.

Those attaining 18 years of age on that date can apply for inclusion of their names in the voters’ list, he said. 

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