Chandigarh, Dec 26 (UNI) The Punjab Government today requested the State Election Commission to hold Panchayat elections along with the Block Samiti and Zila Parishad polls by the end of March next year.
The request letter was sent by the state government as polls to these local bodies were due by early and mid next year.
In its letter, the government also asked the Commission to hold the polls to these Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) on the same date, that is as per the decision of the state Cabinet.
Disclosing this to mediapersons here today, Panchayats and Rural Development Minister Ranjit Singh Brahmpura said the request had been made as the wheat harvesting season commences in early April.
Moreover the annual examinations of all Universities in the state are also held in April, he added.
He informed that as per the decision of the government, sarpanches would not be directly elected by the voters, as was the case in the last elections. Instead the elected panches would elect the sarpanches, he said, while claiming that this decision was taken as direct elections of sarpanches leads to groupism in villages.
Regarding the decision to hold polls to the three Panchayati Raj bodies on the same day, Mr Brahmpura said this would again lessen the chances of groupism in the villages that often leads to law and order problems. The process would be less time consuming this time, he added.
He made it clear that the term of a sarpanch would be for two years and during this period a no-confidence motion cannot be brought against him or her. The sarpanch can be re-elected after the expiry of the two year term if he or she enjoys the support of the majority of the panches, he added.
The present term of the Zila Parishads and Block Samitis is till January 27 and that of Panchayats is till July next year.
However, the state government can hold Panchayat elections before the expiry of the current term.
There are 12,443 Panchayats in the state which comprise of 75,689 members including 18,790 women. Besides there are 141 Block Samitis which comprise of 2283 members and 20 Zila Parishads comprising of 281 members.