BHUBANESWAR: Candidates fighting for the posts of sarpanch, samiti member and zilla parishad member in the ensuing three-tier panchayat polls in the State will have to furnish all personal details at the time of filing nominations.
The State government has promulgated the ‘Odisha Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021’ making it mandatory to submit affidavit containing particulars relating to criminal antecedents, assets and liabilities, and educational qualification during nomination.
The Ordinance is published in the Odisha Gazette. As per the Ordinance, if a candidate provides false information in his/her nomination, he/she may face imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or both.
Similarly, any elected member of the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) will be disqualified if he/she has not furnished an affidavit containing the aforementioned details.
The State government proposes to amend through this Ordinance the Odisha Gram Panchayats Act, 1964, the Odisha Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 and the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1991 to attain the above objectives.
This rule was mandatory for candidates contesting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Now it has been made mandatory at the grassroots level for candidates contesting for posts in PRIs.
As the State is facing recurring natural disasters like cyclones and floods, the ordinance has also given power to the gram panchayats and panchayat samitis (blocks) for disaster management. They are empowered to prepare their own disaster management plans at village, panchayat and panchayat samiti level, carry out and facilitate relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in disaster-affected areas. The two institutions can also undertake other measures necessary for disaster management.