Votes will be counted on December 21. 27,200 candidates are running for the Sarpanch elections and 1,19,998 for the Panchayat members.

Polling was underway on Sunday at more than 23,000 booths for 8,690 village panchayat elections in Gujarat, with tight security arrangements and COVID-19 protocols in place. The elections are seen as a major test for the political parties ahead of the Gujarat State Assembly elections scheduled for December next year.

Votes will be counted on December 21. 27,200 candidates are running for the Sarpanch elections and 1,19,998 for the Panchayat members.

As many as 1,165 village panchayats and 9,613 wards were declared “completely uncontested”, with representatives elected unopposed, according to the Gujarat Election Commission. These panchayats are called ‘samras’ in Gujarat.

Besides, 473 Sarpanch members were elected in a “partially undisputed” process (where only one candidate for the Sarpanch position was left after nominations were withdrawn while the ballot was being held for the other seats), she said.

The Securities and Panchayat Commission, in a statement, said that out of 10,879 village panchayats, the five-year period of 10,117 expires in December, while polls will be held in 65 panchayats due to the division or dissolution of existing bodies, and in 697 panchayats where seats have become vacant due to various reasons.

Approximately 2.06 crore electors would elect 10,284 sarpanches and 89,702 panchayat members from the 10,879 gram panchayats, although 1,267 gram panchayats were declared “samra” or “completely uncontested,” with only one candidate remaining on December 7, It is the last day to withdraw the panchayats. nominations.

The state election board said polling is taking place at 23,112 booths using ballot boxes rather than electronic voting machines (EVMs) due to the very large number of districts. She added that as many as 37,451 ballot boxes are being used in the elections. She said a total of more than 1.81 crore voters would exercise the franchise, including 93.6 lakhs of men and 88.3 lakhs of women.

In the 2017 assembly polls, which the BJP won by a reduced statistic, the urban voter favored the Saffron Party, while rural voters largely sided with the Congress.

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