Elections for 476 posts of block panchayat chiefs in Uttar Pradesh began at 11 am on Saturday, the State Election Commission said adding that as many as 1,710 candidates are in the fray. Polling will take place till 3pm post which counting of votes will begin.
This follows the elections of 349 candidates on Friday. All the 349 candidates, who contested yesterday, won unopposed, the SEC said.
Elections are being held for a total of 825 posts of the block panchayat chief. According to officials, 1,778 nomination papers were received for all the posts, of which 68 were cancelled and 187 withdrawn.
As the State Election Commission announced that candidates on 349 posts have been elected unopposed, an office-bearer of the BJP claimed that 334 among the winning candidates belonged to the ruling party.
UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said after the formation of the party’s government under the leadership of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a state of development and good governance has been established by eradicating casteism and corruption.
"This is the reason that even in the three-tier panchayat elections, the BJP is continuously achieving victories, which is the stamp of people's approval on the policies of the BJP," he said in a statement.
Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, have accused the ruling BJP of damaging democracy in the elections of kshetra panchayat chiefs and attacked it for allegedly showing “utter disrespect” to women during the election process.
They accused the government of misusing power and official machinery in the panchayat elections.
(With PTI inputs)