Rs 122 crore allocated to purchase EVMs for Bihar panchayat election

  • | Thursday | 4th March, 2021

The state government has allocated Rs.122 crore to purchase Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to conduct the panchayat elections scheduled to be held in April-May. The proposal for allocation of fund to purchase the EVMs was approved by the cabinet at its meeting held on Tuesday.

The state government has allocated Rs.122 crore to purchase Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to conduct the panchayat elections scheduled to be held in April-May. The proposal for allocation of fund to purchase the EVMs was approved by the cabinet at its meeting held on Tuesday. Authoritative sources said that 90,000 ballot units and 15,000 control units would be purchased for the purpose.

EVMs would be used for the first time to elect around 2.58 lakh representatives. The panchayat elections were earlier held using ballot papers only. Complaints of poll rigging with forcible stamping of ballot papers were common earlier. Officials of the state election commission said that the use of EVMs would make the entire election process more transparent.

Sources said that elections are likely to be held in 10 phases.

The state government has recently upgraded 300 gram panchayats into Nagar Panchayats. The rural development department is now busy in reorganising 200 village panchayats. Altogether there are 2.58 lakh posts in panchayati raj institutions with 1,14,667 ward members and panchs in gram panchayats. There are 8,387 posts of mukhiyas and 8,387 sarpanchs, 11,491 panchayat samitis and 1,161 posts of district board members.

Meanwhile, the state government also made it clear that there would be no changes in the reservation of seats even after restructuring of around 200 gram panchayats across the state. “The reservation norms for the three-tier Panchayati raj institutions would remain unchanged,” chief minister Nitish Kumar said.

Last Saturday, the state election department issued detailed guidelines to all DMs for the panchayat polls. As per the guidelines, they have to ensure that voters won`t have to cover a distance of more than 2km to cast their votes. Each polling booth will have to accommodate 800-850 voters. Arrangements have to be made in such as a manner that all members of a particular family can exercise their franchise at one polling booth. Moreover, people getting salary from the government have been debarred from being proposer to any candidate contesting the election.

“Preparations for the election are already underway. The dates will be announced soon,” Yogendra Ram, secretary of, state election department, said. Reliable sources said that the dates may be announced by the end of this week.


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