UP Panchayat polls likely to be deferred due to pandemic
Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has indicated that the Panchayat elections, scheduled to be held in December this year, may be postponed for six months due to the corona pandemic.
Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayati Raj, Manoj Kumar Singh told reporters, “The issue is under active consideration of the government. Once the term of the Panchayati Raj bodies from the level of village head to the zila Panchayat head ends in December, local officers would take over as administrators and run the Panchayati Raj institutions.”
With over 52,000 village Panchayats, 61,000 block members, 821 block heads, 3,000 zila Panchayat members and 75 zila Panchayat chiefs, the election was to be held for nearly 8.50 lakh posts with a voter base of 10.50 crore — the highest in the country.
The extension of the elections by six months would take the poll process tentatively to May-June next year when the state will also be gearing up for the Assembly elections, due to be held in early 2022.
The decision on deferring local bodies elections in the rural areas in the state has also led to murmurs of dissent in the ruling BJP with leaders wanting to know that when Assembly elections can be held in Bihar in the pandemic, then why the Panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh are being deferred.
“For the state machinery also, it would be a challenge to hold the Panchayat elections and then the Assembly elections after six months,” said a senior officer in the state Election Commission.