Decisive day as counting held for GP polls With over 9000 candidates in fray, the counting process lasted till late night

BIJAPUR; 30 Dec:  It was the decisive day for the candidates as the counting for the votes of recently concluded Gram Panchayat polls began on Wednesday in different parts of the district.

It may be noted that the polling for the ‘Rural Fight’ held in two phases in the district that has 12 taluks. While in the first phase eight taluks went for polling, in the second and last phase, four taluks witnessed the elections.

Since the rural people have so huge enthusiasm for Gram Panchayat polls, the crowd outside the counting centres was massive, who had come from different villages to know the result of their favourite candidates.

Since counting was held at Darbar High School, a sea of humanity was witnessed outside the centre. The Station Road near to which the centre is located, was packed with people, making the vehicular movements difficult.

The traffic police had a hard time in vacating the people from the road to make way for the vehicles and also to avoid any accident.

Since only candidates and their polling agents were allowed inside the centre, even they too had come in large numbers.

The district has a total of 212 GPs, of which polling held for 199 GPs while polling did not take place in 13 GPs because of the various reasons such as some of the GPs are facing legal dispute or their term has not been completed yet.

The polling had held in some 3754 places of the district where 9247 candidates were in fray.

In the first phase, some 4997 candidates of 111 GPs tested their luck, in the second phase, 4250 candidates of 88 GPs contested. Surprisingly, 369 candidates already won unopposed in the district.

Since the polling and counting held during Covid pandemic, the district administration has issued directions to people for wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

But during the counting, social distancing was not seen at all as the huge crowd had gathered outside the centre, literally rubbing the shoulders of each other.

While only a handful of people were seen wearing masks, the majority of them did not care for masks.

The Health Department though had deployed health staff for sanitizing the hands and testing the temperature of people using thermal machines, only a meager people were seen going to them for sanitization or getting thermal screening done.

Some interesting reports also came during the counting. In some places, the winning margin of only one, that means the candidate won by only one vote against his/her nearest rival. In some places, since both candidates secured equal numbers of votes, the winner was declared with the lottery process.

During the day, Deputy Commissioner, P. Sunil Kumar visited the counting centre to inspect the works. Speaking to media persons, he said that there was no report of any untoward incident for any part of the district during the counting.

With regard to the allegations of some candidates winning unopposed by illegal means, such as luring or threatening other candidates, Sunil Kumar said that even the State Election Commission has taken serious note of it. “ We are keeping track of all those who got elected unopposed in the district. If we come across any illegality in their selection, we will take action as per the law even after they are declared winners”, he said.

Meanwhile, by the time this news was going to press, the counting was underway.  According to officials, the counting could last till late night.

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