Over 52 cr ballot papers for UP panchayat polls

Insight Online News

Lucknow, Jan 24 : With over 52 crore ballot papers, the State Elections Commission (SEC) in Uttar Pradesh is gearing up for the three-layered panchayat polls for over 8.88 lakh posts with an electorate of over 12.5 crore.

Touted as the world’s largest polls, it will witness the election of nearly 59,000 village heads and the remaining members of village, block and district level committees.

The panchayat polls, interestingly, are still conducted through ballot papers.

In 2015, the then Election Commissioner S.K. Agarwal had attempted to switch over to the EVM, but the decision was deferred mainly due to the involvement of heavy expenditure.

According to the official spokesman of the SEC, going for EVMs would cost around Rs 1,500 crore, while with ballot papers, it would cost about Rs 45 crore.

Besides given the huge number of candidates and symbols, EVMs would have to be recalibrated, the spokesman said.

The panchayat elections in the state are likely to be held in March before the secondary board examinations begin in April.

IANS

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