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Rural Poll Spending Limit Hiked

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) has enhanced poll expenditure limit for candidates contesting for Sarpanch, Panchayat Samiti members and Zilla Parishad members.

Following the approval of State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhi, SEC Secretary RN Sahu has issued three different orders on enhancement of poll expenditure of candidates, limit on use of vehicles by candidates and polling hours.

As per the order, the poll expenditure limit for Zilla Parishad members was enhanced upto Rs. 5 lakh, while for Panchayat Samiti members and Sarpanch candidate, the limit was increased to Rs. 2 lakh.

As per another order, the candidates contesting for Zilla Parishad member can use up to five jeeps or cars and 10 two-wheelers whereas the Panchayat Samiti member nominees can use maximum two jeeps or cars and five two-wheelers.

Similarly, the candidates contesting for Sarpanch can use two jeeps or cars and five motorcycles. Use of auto-rickshaws will be allowed as well.

However, the ZP candidates will have to submit details of the vehicles to the Sub-Collector whereas Panchayt Samiti Member and Sarpanch candidates will submit the details to concerned Block Development Officer (BDO). The candidates will have to disengage the vehicles from the campaigning services 36 hours prior to the polling.

Usually the voting time was from 7 am to 12 pm. This time, the voting times have been enhanced by another hour. The voting will be held from 7 am to 1 pm during the upcoming Panchayat elections.   

This time, there will be a central counting at the block-level instead of booth level counting on the same day, the political parties had proposed the SEC to extend the timing during the recently held meeting.

Many political parties had also proposed to increase the election expenditure of Sarpanch and Samiti member candidates from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2 lakh and to increase the amount from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for Zilla Parishad candidates.