About 70% polling in panchayat elections in Guj

Polling was held by use of ballot papers and the counting will be done on December 31.

Ahmedabad: Around 70 per cent polling was
recorded in the elections to 8,250 village panchayats in
Gujarat on Thursday, State Election Commission (SEC) officials said.

"Average polling of 70 per cent was recorded in the
village panchayats elections. Barring few incidents of
violence, the elections passed off peacefully as we had made
elaborate security arrangements," secretary of SEC PS Shah
said, adding about 97,000 candidates were in fray.

Though the panchyat elections are not fought on party
symbols, the BJP had put up candidates under the `Sadbhavna
panel` in most of the panchayats while the Congress had named
their panels as `Shanti` or `Vikas`.

Polling was held by use of ballot papers and the
counting will be done on December 31.

The state election commission published a notification on
November 19, 2011 regarding organising elections in 10,405
village panchayats. Out of which 2,147 panchayats were
declared as `Samras` where village people come together and
decide their representatives without elections.

Meanwhile, in Pav village of Dahod district, the brother
of a candidate for sarpanch, Pratap Sanghol, was shot dead by
a group of rival faction, police officials of Dahod said. The
election commission has cancelled polling in the village.

In the Goghas village of the same district, a group of
around 20 people tried to take away ballot boxes from poll
officials, but the police party accompanying officials foiled
the attempt and have arrested all of them, police said.

"We have recorded four cases of booth capturing from
the state, where polling was suspended. In all these cases,
re-polling will be held tomorrow," Shah said.

"In nine cases, polling was cancelled due to mistakes in
ballot papers. Re-polling will also be held in all the nine
villages tomorrow," he said.

There is lot of interest about the panchayat elections
in the state as they are being seen here as a semi-final of
the next year`s state assembly elections.


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