Leading political parties in Odisha have proposed to increase the limit of election expenditures by Sarpanch and Nominee candidates for the forthcoming three-tier Panchayat elections.
The proposal was made during an all-party meeting called by the State Election Commission (SEC) Aditya Prasad Padhi in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
All major political parties also looked to making the forthcoming Panchayat election alcohol-free.
As per reports, more than 50 representatives of various political parties took part in the meeting chaired by Padhi and gave their proposals for necessary reforms in the election process.
A detailed discussion was held on the limits of election expenditure by the candidates. It has been proposed in the meeting to increase the limit of election expenditures of Sarpanch and Nominee candidates for the upcoming election.
“Many political parties have proposed to increase the election expenditure of Sarpanch and Nominee candidates from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2,00,000. It has also been proposed to increase the amount from Rs 2,00,000 to Rs 5,00,000 for Zilla Parishad candidates,” said BJD Vice-President Debi Prasad Mishra.
Most of the political parties were unanimous in their opinion to ban liquor seven days ahead of the elections.
“Many kind of disturbances in the election process are happening due to alcohol. So, it has been proposed to ban liquor in the State seven days ahead of the election,” said Ganeswar Behera, senior Congress leader.
It was also emphasised in the meeting to prepare the voters’ list without any mistake before the ensuing elections which is most likely to be held in the beginning of next year.
“The voters’ lists will be prepared before the ensuing election without any mistake. The Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) id number of the voters will be added along with their names to the list,” said BJP leader Shankarshana Parida.
Meanwhile, the political parties also proposed to increase the duration of the polling period.
“Usually the voting time was from 7 am to 12 pm. But this time, there will be centralised counting at the block level instead of booths. Most of the political parties were of the view to increase the duration of polling period by two more hours,” said SEC Padhi.
“We have taken note of all the proposals given by the political parties. Accordingly, necessary guidelines will be prepared at the earliest for the smooth conduct of the election process,” said Padhi.
Meanwhile, Collectors have been directed to identify suitable polling centres in their respective districts. They have also been asked to remain prepared for the upcoming Panchayat election which is most likely to be conducted either in February or March 2022.