BHUBANESWAR: The BJP on Saturday urged the State Election Commission to act as per Constitutional provision and restrain the State government from tampering with the rules regulating election to the three-tier panchayati raj institutions (PRIs).
Describing the draft notification of the State government to amend the Odisha Gram Panchayat Election Rules, 1965 that entails the counting of ballots in one day following the completion of all phases of voting as an admission of defeat by the BJD well before the polls, coordinator of BJP’s Panchayati Raj department Shankar Parida said his party has full faith on the State Election Commission (SEC).
“We are confident that the SEC will act within the provisions of the Constitution and ensure that the illegal amendment proposed by the State government is not implemented,” he told a media conference here. Coming down heavily on the ruling BJD for unsettling a settled system of electoral politics, Parida said the lack of confidence and nervousness of the regional party is clearly visible.
He said the government is well aware that the State has not enough strong room to keep around 4 lakh ballot boxes at block level. Panchayat elections are not like general elections to the Assembly or Lok Sabha. The number of booths in PRI polls is much higher than general elections. “The people of the State fail to understand what went wrong with the existing system of PRI election that necessitated changes in the GP election rules,” he said.