Political Parties Unanimous On Alcohol-Free Panchayat Polls In Odisha, Says SEC

Bhubaneswar: State Election Commissioner (SEC) Aditya Prasad Padhi on Saturday said all political parties have sought to make the panchayat elections alcohol-free and raise expenditure limits of the candidates.

Speaking to media persons after attending an all-party meet on the panchayat polls, Padhi said all parties cutting across ideological affiliations wanted that the alcohol should be banned seven days before the elections.

Padhi said other suggestions of the parties included a raise in the election expenditure limit for the candidates. They wanted the limit for sarpanch and nominee candidates should be increased from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2 lakh and that for Zilla Parishad candidates from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

On the parties’ proposal for an error-free voters’ list, the SEC said for the first time, Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) number of the voters along with their names will be mentioned in the list.

Besides, the political parties sought an increase in present duration of the polling period of 7 am to 12 noon on the ground that the counting of votes will be held at block level this time instead of booth level.

Padhi further said the voter list will be revised as per the Election Commission of India’s decision for revision of photo electoral rolls with January 1, 2022 as the qualifying date. Those attaining 18 years age on this date can apply for inclusion of their names in the voters’ list, he added.

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