First Phase of Karnataka Gram Panchayat Polls Underway

Voting began at 7 am and will continue till 5 pm on Tuesday, 22 December.

1 min read
Image for representative purposes.

The voting for the first phase of gram panchayat elections in Karnataka in underway, as 43,238 seats in 3,019 panchayats, 117 taluks are contested upon. Voting began at 7 am and will continue till 5 pm on Tuesday, 22 December.

Half of the 43,238 seats are reserved for women, and according to officials, 4,377 candidates have been elected unopposed already, PTI reported.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, physical distancing measures, as well as strict instructions on wearing masks have been implemented on all voting booths. The number of voters in each booth has also been reduced from 1,500 to 1,000. Anganwadi, ASHA workers and Health Department officials are also present at the polling booths.

PTI reported that COVID-19 positive individuals or people who’ve come under primary/secondary contacts of infected people can vote in the last hour of polling.

The second phase of polls is scheduled for 27 December 2020, and the votes will be counted for both phases on 30 December.

Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar had earlier opposed the idea of local body polls being held during the pandemic, and urged that polls be deferred until vaccines are available to the public.

However, the Karnataka High Court ordered the State Election Commission to hold the elections with COVID-19 guidelines in place.

(inputs from PTI)

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