Brisk polling on for Panchayat elections

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Gangtok, Oct 26 (UNI) Brisk polling is going on across 524 polling stations in the state for the Panchayat elections today. with around 35 to 40 per cent polling recorded in the first three hours.

Polling will end at 1600 hrs.

More than 1.41 lakh voters were expected to exercise their voting rights through EVMs, being used for the first time for Panchayat elections.

Police said so far the polling has been peaceful with no untoward incidents.

Large number of women voters were observed celebrating the 40 per cent exclusive seat reservation for them in Panchayat body, a first in the country.

The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has already received an imposing 66 perc ent walkover in the 889 Gram Panchayat seats with 585 uncontested victories.

Similarly, SDF had won 46 Zilla Panchayat seats uncontested out of 93 seats.

With SDF's victory a foregone conclusion, all eyes are set on how will the other political parties and independent candidates fare in the remaining 304 gram panchayat seats and 47 zilla seats.

Independent candidates pose a major challenge to the SDF juggernaut with opposition parties like Congress, CPI(M) and Sikkim Gorkha Democratic Party offering a token participation in the rural body elections.

UNI

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