Voting for the first phase of Rajasthan Panchayat Election-2020 (Rajasthan Panchayat Election) has started from 7.30 am. In the first phase, voting will be held at 4679 polling stations of 1003 gram panchayats of 50 panchayat samitis. A total of 33 lakh 40 thousand 35 voters will be able to exercise their voting rights in these panchayats, out of which 17 lakh 48 thousand 670 men, 15 lakh 91 thousand 347 women and 18 other voters are included. The Central and State Government have appealed to all the voters of the state to vote in maximum number with the compliance of all protocols related to the prevention of corona infection.
There is a lot of enthusiasm among the people and it seems that they have probably forgotten that Corona continues to wreak havoc. A large number of people are crowding the polling booth. Long ques can be seen at the polling booths and people are standing close to each other as the Social distancing norms are being violated.
Election Commissioner PS Mehra had appealed to all voters to vote fearlessly following all the guidelines related to the Corona issued by the Central and Rajasthan governments. The Election Commissioner said that a total of 31 lakh 95 thousand 691 voters will be able to exercise their franchise in the first phase. After the voting ends, the counting of votes will be done at all panchayat headquarters and on September 29.
The commissioner had also appealed not to rush to the counting venue immediately after the voting and to cooperate with the police administration and local administration by returning to respective homes on time. Mehra said that every voter should go to the polls by putting a mask on from his house. It is mandatory to apply mask before entering the polling station.
Voters were also advised to clean hands with soap, water or sanitizer before going to the polling station. Mehra had appealed that while voting, voters should wait for their turn by standing in the marked areas for maintaining social distancing while standing in the queue. Voters were advised to give priority to senior citizens and PwDs. He also appealed to voters, candidates or their supporters not to stand in a crowd or group in or around the polling booth.
This election is going to be held in four stages. In the first phase of panchayat elections, sarpanch will be elected in 1003 gram panchayats of 50 panchayat samitis. In Rajasthan, 13 sarpanches have been elected unopposed after the withdrawal of nomination in the first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions. At the same time, 4468 panch candidates have also been elected unopposed. Now 5388 and 11890 candidates are to elected for the sarpanch and panch posts respectively.
Similarly, 21542 candidates have filed 21557 nomination papers for 9688 wards of 1002 gram panchayats. Of these, 20961 nomination papers were found valid. 4571 candidates withdrew their names while 4468 panchs were elected unopposed.
Immediately after polling, counting of votes will be done in the evening. After that, elections of sub-sarpanches will be held in these panchayats on Tuesday. This time the State Election Commission has issued very strict guidelines for the election in view of the corona infection. Voters will have to fully comply with social distancing at the time of voting. Voters suffering from corona infection have also been given the right to vote, but for this, the Election Commission has set some different criteria.