On Friday, polling was held for 1,25,709 seats, for which nominations had been received from 3,56,221 candidates
Mumbai: The elections to 12,711 gram panchayats spread across 34 districts in Maharashtra saw on average 79 percent voting on Friday, State Election Commissioner UPS Madan said.
Elections to 14,234 gram panchayats were announced on 11 December last year, but in some local governing bodies elections were held completely or partially unopposed.
The gram panchayats are considered the third tier of governance. Elections for them are not held on party lines, using party symbols.
Candidates are allotted election symbols from a list of free symbols.
The poll panel had earlier this week canceled the election process in Umrane and Khondamali gram panchayats in Nashik and Nandurbar districts, respectively, after it received evidence of auctioning of posts of sarpanchs and other members.
The Commission also said that voting for 162 gram panchayats in six talukas of Gadchiroli, a Naxal-hit district, will be held on 20 January.
“Due to several such reasons, voting was held for 12,711 gram panchayats on Friday. In Gadchiroli, votes will be counted on 22 January. In the remaining districts, counting will take place on January 18,” the SEC’s statement said.
On Friday, polling was held for 1,25,709 seats, for which nominations had been received from 3,56,221 candidates. A total of 2,41,598 candidates were in the race post scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations. As many as 26,718 of these candidates faced no rivals, so they would be declared elected unopposed, the statement said.
In all 2,14,880 candidates were in the fray actually for the polls held on Friday.
The voting took place between 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, except for four talukas in Gadchiroli and Gondia where polling ended at 3 pm.
The districts and the district-wise number of gram panchayats where polling was held are as follows: Thane (143), Palghar (3), Raigad (78), Ratnagiri (360), Sindhudurg (66), Nashik (565), Dhule (182), Jalgaon (687), Ahmednagar (705), Nandurbar (64), Pune (649), Solapur (593), Satara (652), Sangli (142), Kolhapur (386), Aurangabad (579), Beed (111), Nanded (1,013), Osmanabad (382), Parbhani (498), Jalna (446),
Latur (383), Hingoli (421), Amravati (537), Akola (214), Yavatmal (925), Washim (152), Buldhana (498), Nagpur (127), Wardha (50), Chandrapur (604), Bhandara (145), Gondia (181) and Gadchiroli (170).
The Commission allowed those suffering from coronavirus infection or those in quarantine to cast their vote half-an-hour before the polling ended.
The gram panchayat polls were held in the wake of the ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance’s victory in the graduates’ and teachers’ constituencies in the Legislative Council elections that took place last year. The alliance won four out of six seats, while an Independent candidate and the BJP won one each.
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