Panchayat polls: Jharkhand seeks additional forcesBy IANS
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
RANCHI - Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda Wednesday said the state needed at least 250 companies of para-military forces to hold peaceful panchayat elections scheduled from Nov 27.
“We have sought 250 companies of para-military forces. As per our information, the central government has agreed to provide 100 companies,” said Munda.
The polls are been held after 30 years, he said. This is also the state’s first panchayat elections after the formation of the state in 2000.
“Maintaining law and order is a challenge,” Munda added.
Asked about the shutdown called by the non-tribals, known as Sadan, to protest against the polls being held under the provisions of Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 (PESA), he said: “The primary issue is to empower people of the state by holding panchayat polls.”
The five-phase polls will take place Nov 27, Dec 6, Dec 13, Dec 20 and Dec 24.
The Sanyukt Sadan Morcha has called shutdown on Thursday in Jharkhand to protest the polls being held under PESA Act, which reserves many posts for tribals, even where their population is less than 10 or 20 percent.
“This is injustice against the non-tribals and we have called for a shutdown,” said Lalchand Mahto, of the Sanyukt Sadan Morcha.