Sarpanch candidates sit for written test to win voter's confidence in Odisha
In the ensuing panchayat elections, sarpanch candidates are being made to sit for test to win the confidence of voters.
ROURKELA: In the ensuing panchayat elections, sarpanch candidates are being made to sit for test to win the confidence of voters. Villagers of Malupada in Sundargarh’s Kutra gram panchayat (GP) held a written test for their sarpanch candidates on Thursday to choose the best among them. Irked over the frequent visits of sarpanch candidates, the villagers decided to adopt this unique selection method.
Pradeep Lakra (35), a farmer, said eight of the nine candidates for Kutra sarpanch post sat for the test on the porch of the local school. A group of villagers of Malupada, Ramanpada and Chunipada under ward-8 had prepared seven questions to test the candidates.
The questions included ‘why they wish for the post’, ‘what would be their five-year plan on getting elected’, ‘what social activities they did in past’, ‘are they willing to address people’s grievance with personal visit’ and ‘what is their definition of a model GP’. They were also asked to answer the details about the GP and former sarpanchs.
Lakra said the test lasted for three hours before rain forced them to return. The villagers collected the answers and have kept them in a box. After analysing the answers, villagers would decide whom to elect. “Elections are held every five years but Malupada continues to be deprived of an all-weather road. Some of the tube-wells are either defunct or pumping muddy water,” he said.
One of the sarpanch candidates who appeared for the test was 45-year-old Bhuban Kujur who settled at Kutra five years back after quitting the post of senior project engineer in a Mumbai-based shipping company. Appreciating the decision of the villagers, he said it was like the US Presidential election where candidates debate to help voters make the right choice.
Kujur further said ward-8 has 475 voters and if elected, his priority would be to ensure basic amenities for locals as the villages continue to struggle for better roads, drinking water and street lighting among other things. Kutra GP will go to the polls on February 18.