BHUBANESWAR: With the panchayat elections on the verge of being notified, State Election Commissioner (SEC) RN Senapati on Monday met all political parties to listen to their demands and grievances. As many as 30 representatives of 24 parties took part in the meeting where they put forth their views.
The BJP demanded that since Zilla Parishad (ZP) polls are conducted with party symbols, there should be separate ballot boxes for this polling. Since results are announced on the same day, outcome of ZP polls should be declared a day later as its announcement on the polling day could influence election prospects of other tiers. The party said the SEC did not accept the demand, which is unfortunate.
The CPI, in its memorandum, stated that counting of votes should be held after polling and a uniform date should be identified for this. The practice of counting on the day of polls must be brought to an end to ensure a free and fair process.
The party also called for strong rooms at block offices to keep the ballot boxes safe. It also demanded simplification of the issue of caste certificate within 48 hours.
To ensure a fair poll, the police officers - starting from IG to ASI - who have been posted for more than three years at a place, should be shifted. The same practice must be adopted for administrative officers.
During the meeting, the SEC informed the political parties about the process of nomination, affidavits, documents on education qualifications and property statements.
The election expenditure limit for ZP members is pegged at `two lakh where Sarpanch and Panchayat Samiti members can spend up to `80,000. Similarly, ZP members can use two four-wheelers whereas the rest can use just one.
The SEC urged the political party members to adhere to the model code of conduct to see that the polls are conducted in a smooth manner. Voters can use any one of the 23 ID cards to exercise their voting rights.
Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu, Special Secretary Ashok Dash and Deputy Secretary Azad Hind Panigrahy were present.