The upcoming panchayat polls are set to delay the annual electoral roll summary revision exercise of Election Commission of India (ECI) in UP. The EC usually begins the summary revision in October every year. But this year, it will begin from November 2 and end by January 11, next year.
Officials in Chief Electoral Office (CEO) in UP, however, are apprehensive that the exercise may have to be postponed further as the UP State Election Commission (SEC) was likely to conduct panchayat polls during the same period. UP CEO Arun Singhal said, “November 2 is the proposed date for starting the exercise but that could change because the SEC is yet to declare dates for panchayat polls.”
He, however, added that work on “other preparatory exercises” — rationalisation of polling booths and appointment of divisional commissioners as observers of summary revision — has started. A major issue lies with the district administration — comprising magistrates, additional magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates and revenue officers — who will conduct both the summary revision exercise and panchayat polls. Officials said that conducting both at the same time will not be practically possible. Moreover, EC puts a ban on transfer of DMs, ADMs, SDMs and other officials engaged in roll revision until the exercise is over.
The three-tier panchayat elections are held to elect, besides the village head, members of gram panchayat, kshetra panchayat and zila panchayat. In the next phase, while the elected members of Kshetra panchayat elect their block head, those of zila panchayat elect chairman. The SEC’s revision of electoral roll had been carried out — from June 1 to July 13. In the final stage, the SEC will declare the reservation of wards and seats for village pradhan and member of village panchayat. However, the state on Saturday withheld this exercise until further notice.
Additional Election Commissioner J P Singh said the final reservation of seats of kshetra panchayat pramukhs and member of kshetra panchayat and zila panchayat may be declared on September 16. “Schedule for elections will be announced only after that. Later, reservation of seats and schedule of election of pradhan and panchayat members will also be announced as their term will end on November 8,” Singh said.
On the other hand, EC’s roll revision will begin from November 2 with publication of draft electoral rolls. Claims and objections will be invited between November 2 and November 30. Updating of database, merging of photographs, updating the control tables and preparations and printing of supplementary list would be done by January 5, while the final publication of updated summary revision has to be completed on January 11.