SEC defers panchayat poll process in Chitrakonda block

Bhubaneswar: After getting a joint report from Malkangiri Collector and SP, the State Election Commission (SEC) today decided to postpone panchayat poll process in 18 panchayats including nine in cut-off area and two zilla parishad zones.

Informing newsmen about the SEC’s decision, State Election Commission Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu said, “On basis of the joint report mentioning law and order situation in Chitrakonda block and sensing possible difficulties for the government to provide security to poll candidates as well as voters, the panchayat poll process has been postponed in the area.”

Elaborating on the decision, Sahu stated, “Poll for two zilla parishad zones has been postponed. In case of panchayat samiti, the places, where one candidate had filed nomination, the name will be declared later. But in the places where more than one candidate has filed nomination, the poll process has been suspended.”

Sahu added, however, the places where no nomination was filed for panchayat samiti the poll process is cancelled.

Also read: Maoists warn Malkangiri villagers to abstain from panchayat polls

The SEC secretary added in gram panchayats, where more than one candidate has filed nomination the poll process is postponed.

In case one candidate had filed nomination for a gram panchayat, the name will be declared later whereas the process is cancelled where no nomination was filed.

Sahu informed, “New schedule will be announced for places where the poll process has been cancelled.”

In a related development, woman samiti member candidate Sabitri Khemudu today withdrew her nomination for Gajalmamudi panchayat on the last date for nomination withdrawal.

Also read: Maoists kill another villager in Malkangiri

Notably, Sabitri was the lone candidate who had filed nomination for samiti member post despite Maoist threats to villagers of facing kangaroo court trial, if they participate in the ensuing panchayat polls.