Make Panchayat Polls alcohol-free: political parties to Odisha EC

Bhubaneswar: As countdown begins for Panchayat Polls in Odisha, political parties today batted for an alcohol-free election this time. At an all-party meeting held here today, political parties urged the State Election Commissioner (SEC) Aditya Prasad Padhi to make the elections alcohol-free.

Speaking to mediapersons following the meeting, the SEC informed that majority of political parties have sought a ban on liquor seven days prior to the elections. Besides, preparation of an error-free voters’ list was stressed at the meeting. For the first time, Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) number of the voters along with their names will be mentioned in the list, he informed.

“Efforts are afoot to enroll those, who attain the age of 18 years as on or before November 1, 2021, to cast their vote in the elections,” Padhi added.

“Earlier, the polling time was 7 am-12 noon. Today, political parties sought an increase in duration of the polling period since counting will be held at block level this time instead of booth level,” the official informed.

Also Read: Odisha Panchayat Polls 2022: Counting to be held at block offices

The meeting also had discussion on election expenditure limit of the candidates.

“The political parties proposed to increase the election expenditure limit for Sarpanch and nominee candidates from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2,00,000. They also urged to increase the expenditure limit for Zilla Parishad candidates from Rs 2,00,000 to Rs 5,00,000,” said Padhi.

Meanwhile, the month-long special drive for revision of electoral roll is underway in the state from November 1.

The voter list will be revised in accordance with the ECI’s decision for the special summary revision of photo electoral rolls with reference to January 1, 2022, as the qualifying date. Those attaining 18 years age as on January 1, 2022, can apply for inclusion of their names in the voter/electoral roll as first-time voters. Eligible voters whose name is yet to be registered in the electoral roll and those seeking changes/corrections in name, address or deletion of name from the electoral roll can also apply.

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