BENGALURU: The Karnataka state election commission on Monday announced gram panchayat elections for 5762 panchayats in two phases. The elections will be held on December 22 and December 27 across the state. Counting for both the phases will be held together on December 30, said SEC Commissioner Basavaraju.
Speaking to reporters, Basavaraju said for the first time panchayat elections are taking place amidst a pandemic and all precautionary measures will be taken. They had earlier issued standard operating procedures for the election, according to which more than five people cannot go for campaigning. Masks are a must and social distancing will be maintained.
Polling will be done between 7 am to 5 pm in both phases. People who are COVID postive are allowed to vote in the last hour.
In Karnataka, there are more than 6000 gram panchayats, of which the terms of 162 will end after December. Some panchayats have cases pending before the court.
The first phase will be held on December 22, in which elections will be conducted for 113 taluks (2930 panchayats), while the second phase will be conducted for the remaining 113 taluks (2832 panchayats). The total number of voters is 2.96 crore of which 1.49 crore are male voters, 1.47 crore are female voters and 1048 are others. Notification for the elections will be issued by the respective DCs on December 7 and December 11 for the first and second phases respectively.
For the first time, EVMs will be used in all gram panchayats in Bidar district, while the remaining districts will have ballots.