Bihar seeks security at all booths for panchayat pollsBy IANS
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
PATNA - Encouraged by last month’s peaceful assembly elections in Bihar, authorities have decided to deploy security forces at every polling booth for the eight-phase panchayat polls to be held in April-May, an official said Wednesday.
A senior official of the state Election Commission told IANS that the commission has asked for 400 companies of central paramilitary forces to counter the Maoist threat.
“The commission has informed the central government in this connection,” he said.
The commission has also directed all district magistrates to send a report about the requirement and availability of security forces in their respective districts.
Besides, the commission has informed the state government about the requirement of nearly 50,000 home guards.
Early this month the, the commission called a meeting of divisional commissioners, zonal inspector generals and senior officials, including principal secretaries of home and panchayat raj departments, to review the poll preparations.
Over five crore eligible voters will elect about 2.62 lakh office-bearers to run the panchayats, the third tier of governance at district and village level.
In 2006, Bihar became the first state in the country to give 50 percent reservation to women in the panchayat polls.
The commission has made it clear that electronic voting machines (EVMs) will not be used. Instead, voting will be conducted through the traditional ballot papers as every voter would vote for six posts, which would be difficult to register in the EVMs.
Officials said that all the posts, including the village head and village court, will be constituted between June 10-30.