LUCKNOW: A non-descript village in Mainpuri district of central UP has set a unique precedent of evolving consensus through internal polls to select a candidate for village panchayat head post in the upcoming polls. The move was aimed at avoiding bad blood that such polls cause.
This unique idea was floated by the elders of Aurandh, also known as the village of armymen as every house here has a person in the armed forces. “We floated the idea to avert political rivalries, which once sparked during the polls, continues for generations,” says Ram Autar Singh Yadav of Aurandh village.
Following the decision to conduct internal polls to get a consensus candidate, all the modalities were followed to perfection to complete the exercise. Ballot papers were printed, five polling booths were set up, elderly and non-controversial persons of the village played the Returning Officer and poll observers. People cast their votes in accordance to village voters list.
The gram panchayat comprising Aurandh and a cluster of 10 other small villages (majras) have a total of 6,300 registered voters. In this gram panchayat, Aurandh is the biggest village with 1,936 voters.In the last 2015 panchayat election, six persons contested for village panchayat chief ‘s post from Aurandh. “It had led to lobbying, enmity and division of votes. Consequently, to avoid that situation, the village elders decided to choose one candidate liked by all to contest the poll,” says Krishna Pal, a villager.
The villagers claim that to conduct the internal polls a seven-member committee was set up. This committee made all the arrangements. There were three contenders. The ballot papers comprising the names of all the three were printed by the committee. The village was divided into five wards and five booths for voting were set up.
The polling commenced at 7 am and concluded at 1 pm on Monday. Of the 1,936 voters, 1,138 exercised their vote. The village temple was converted into the counting centre. The counting of votes was conducted in the presence of the representative of all the three candidates. After the counting, Akhand Pratap was declared winner as he had secured 724 of the total votes polled.