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Discourage Unopposed Election Of Sarpanches: Election Watch

The Telangana Election Watch said that open auctions were being conducted for the panchayat elections and only the highest bidders being allowed to file nominations.
Hyderabad | 10th January 2019
The Telangana Election Watch, represented by its state coordinators M Padmanabha Reddy, Chelikani Rao and others, met the State Election Commissioner and praised him for the good work done by his organization during the just-concluded Assembly elections.

They also promised to extend their cooperation during the upcoming gram panchayat elections, and ensure free and fair polls.

The Election Watch representatives highlighted the perils of forced unopposed elections happening in the state at the behest of certain organizations such as village development committees and caste welfare associations, wherein open auctions were being conducted and the highest bidders being declared as the only candidates allowed to file nominations.

They also said that some recently elected MLAs were promising incentives of Rs 15 lakhs to each of the gram panchayats where candidates were elected unopposed, which they said was against the Model Code of Conduct.

They also said that the practice was likely to continue till the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

They requested the Election Commission to withhold the declaration of unopposed elections in all such cases and take severe action against those involved, including prosecution under the India Penal Code and the Panchayat Raj Act.

In this regard, they promised to furnish all necessary information in such cases to the returning officers, election officers, district Collectors, district election authorities and election observers of the State Election Commission.

They also requested the Election Commission to supply the list of persons disqualified on account of non-submission of expenditure accounts to the returning officers stage-I so that action could be taken against the defaulters.

The State Election Commission assured the Telangana Election Watch of all possible support by the commission and all other relevant officials.
filed in:  Elections, Local Body Elections, Gram Panchayat, Election Commission Of India
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