SEC wants panchayat Act amendedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/sec-wants-panchayat-act-amended/

SEC wants panchayat Act amended

May skip NOTA option in state municipal polls in November

The West Bengal State Election Commission Tuesday requested the state government to amend the Panchayat Act so that the number of constituencies in areas covered by panchayats do not go up with the increase in the number of voters every five years.

“There is a clause in the state Panchayat Act that the constituencies will be dependent on the number of voters —- 900 voters in plains and 250 in the hills. The number of constituencies goes up every five years. Now,we are faced with a situation where there are over 60,000 constituencies in the state,” said Mira Pande,State Election Commissioner,said.

Pande was speaking at an interactive session organised by the MCC chamber of commerce in Kolkata.

She said the poll panel might not be able to provide EVMs with the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option in the November 22 municipal elections state because of lack of time to incorporate the provision.

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“We will take a call independently on NOTA option. But,currently we do not have EVMs with this facility and this is a major hurdle,” she said.

Stating that there were about 25,000 EVMs in state,Pandey said it was not possible to procure new machines or make the necessary modifications to accommodate NOTA within such a short period before the municipal polls in Howrah,Krishnanagar,Berhampur,Medinipur and Jhargram.

She,however,indicated that despite the infrastructure hurdle it has not given up yet and would try to see how the SC verdict could be adhered to. She said there was also no clarity on implementation of this on ballot paper as there was no such option.

The NOTA option would be available,however,in the assembly polls in five states between November 11 and December 4 announced by the Election Commission of India.