This year,the gram panchayat polls in Punjab have seen a seven per cent decline in candidates being unanimously elected when compared to the 2008 elections. Against the 2,806 unanimously elected panchayats in 2008,the figure is only 2,019 in 2013.
The reason: Non-fulfilment of 2008 poll promises made by the SAD-BJP government. The government had announced that it will give a grant of Rs 3 lakh to panchayats,which will elect its members unanimously. In all,the government had announced Rs 84 crore Rs 3 lakh each for 2,806 panchayats as incentive,as these villages had helped the state save money on election expenses. However,no money has been paid till date.
In 2008,out of the 12,821 village panchayats,around 22 per cent were elected unanimously. This year,among the 13,080 panchayats,around 15 per cent have been elected unanimously.
The Punjab government had tried its best to allure gram panchayats to go for unanimous elections but people did not follow them owing to breach of trust, said an official in rural development and panchayat department.
Meanwhile,due to the introduction of wardbandi in this election,every panch needs to be elected from his ward. This year,around 25,000 panchs (30 per cent) have been elected unanimously,Now,over one lakh candidates are in fray for the remaining posts of around 56,000 panchs.