Patna: Rural Bihar is all set to witness an increase in political activities, following the issuance of a notification on Tuesday, August 24, announcing the dates for the 11 phase elections for three tier Panchayati Raj Institutions. These will be the first polls after the Bihar Assembly polls which had been conducted during the months of October and November in the previous year.
The panchayat polls will not be contested on the party lines, and the candidates contesting polls will not be allowed to use the flags of political parties during the campaign.
Though the dates of the panchayat elections were announced last week, the State Election Commission(SEC) formally issued the notification on Tuesday. According to the official release, the first phase of voting will be held on September 24 and the last phase of voting will be held on December 12.
“After the notification is issued,the model code of conduct will be effective from August 24 for the panchayat polls”, Deepak Prasad, the chief election officer, said.
The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last week approved the proposal for the panchayat elections to elect over 2.59 lakh representatives.
The panchayat polls were delayed due to the second wave of COVID-19. The polls were scheduled to be held in April-May, 2021.
In view of floods in north Bihar districts,the SEC has decided that polls will first take place in the flood free districts, and the flood affected districts will have polls in either in November or December.
According to officials,there will be no panchayat elections in 300 panchayats, as they were merged with new urban bodies created by the state government. In a bid to boost urbanisation, the government last December approved creation of over 100 new urban local bodies and upgraded the status of existing ones.
Leaders and workers of all major political parties, including the ruling NDA (BJP,JD-U,HAM and VIP), and the opposition Mahagathbandhan (RJD, Congress, CPI, CPI(M) and CPI-ML) will become active on the ground to ensure success of candidates backed and supported by them.
The people of rural areas become active during panchayat polls, and door to door campaigns and small meetings will be a thrust of the campaign for candidates.
Voting will be conducted on September 24, September 29, October 8, October 20, October 24, November 3, November 15, November 24, November 29, December 8, and December 12, 2021.