Out of the nearly 9,000 gram panchayats that went to polls on Tuesday, there were around 60 panchayats where the election for the post of sarpanch was not held since there was no candidate for the post. The maximum number of such gram panchayats was highest – seven each – in Kutch and Ahmedabad districts, followed by Surendranagar district having six such gram panchayats.
According to Surendranagar Collector Udit Agrawal, six villages in Surendranagar went without candidature for the seat of sarpanch. These villages included Ramrajpar in Limdi taluka, Vadali in Chotila, Khambada in Dhrangadhra, Jamvali in Thangadh, Kansada in Sayla and Sara in Muli.
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District Collector Udit Agrawal said, “While in Ramrajpar and Jamvali, there was no form filed for the seat of sarpanch, for Vadali and Khambada gram panchayats, all candidates withdrew their nominations. In Kansada, villagers decided not to cast their votes demanding a separate gram panchayat from Sitagadh village and in Sara there was no candidate under the reserved seat for Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.”
In Kutch district, seven gram panchayats went without polling for the post of sarpanch. Kutch Collector M A Gandhi said, “There were five villages where the seat of sarpanch was reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates. However, there was no candidature from the community so it remained vacant. As per the orders of the Supreme Court, we have to keep these seats reserved, if there is any population of that category as per the latest Census.”
Out of the two other gram panchayats, one was reserved for woman candidate of the OBC community. There was one woman who filed her candidature. Though, Gandhi said, the woman’s candidature was rejected during scrutiny as she had three kids. As per a state law, a person having more than two kids cannot contest elections of local institutes of self-governance. The other seat was reserved for women in open category. However, the only woman candidate who filed her papers withdrew on the last day. According to Gandhi, in all these gram panchayats, the duties of sarpanch will be performed by the deputy sarpanch who will be elected from among the elected ward members. Polls for the post of sarpanch will be held within around 3-4 months, Gandhi said.