The third and final phase of elections for the Haryana Panchayati Raj Institutions recorded 86.7 per cent voting on Sunday, which is more than that of the first two phases. Sirsa district recorded the highest polling, where 91.6 per cent people cast their vote.
Polling was largely peaceful at most places. Repolling was conducted at two booths at Alieka village in Mewat district after some persons broke two electronic voting machines.
Elections for the third phase were not held in Faridabad, Jhajjar, Gurgaon and Panchkula districts. At Kurukshetra 89.9 per cent polling took place, while it was 88.6 per cent at Yamunanagar.
A total of 27.30 lakh people were eligible to cast their vote at 5,231 polling booths during the third phase. Of these, 1,021 polling booths were identified as hyper sensitive and 1,154 as sensitive. More than 25,000 candidates were in fray for the elections in the third phase. A total of 10,316 panches, 95 sarpanches and 30 members of panchayat samitis were elected unanimously during this phase. Elections were held for 1,646 seats of sarpanches, 16,126 seats of panches, 781 seats of member panchayat samitis and 104 seats of member Zila Parishad.
The results for the election of sarpanches and panches were announced after the polling was over. The results for panchayat samitis and zila parishad of three phases will be announced on January 28.
State Election Commission Haryana, Rajeev Sharma, said the polling was conducted peacefully in the state. Polling percentage was higher than the last two phases.
This was the first time that elections for the Panchayati Raj Institutions were held following amendments to the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act. According to the amendments, the minimum educational qualification of the candidates of the general category should be Class X, for women and Schedule Caste candidates it is Class VIII and for SC women it is Class V.
The candidates cannot have any pending electricity bills or be defaulters of loans from co-operative banks. This led to unanimous elections in many villages, as there were less eligible candidates available.