Unanimous Elections in Panchayat Polls – UPSC GS2

  • The Andhra Pradesh state government enhanced incentives for the unanimous election of sarpanches and ward members in gram panchayats.
Government’s view:
  • The state government believes that elections to gram panchayats held on a party basis would fuel political rivalry, enmity and intense animosity among the competing parties resulting in hampering harmony and speedy development of villages.
  • The concept of ‘unanimous elections’ is not a novel concept, states like Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab are having an election to gram panchayats on a non-political party basis.
  • The Andhra Pradesh state government intends to facilitate concentrating the energies of the gram panchayats to take up development works in the villages for the benefit of the people.
Opposition and SEC view:
  • Opposition parties advocate that free and fair elections, away from intimidation, would give ample scope to the downtrodden sections, make them a part of the governance.
  • The Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner is of the view that enforcing unanimous elections in panchayats is nothing but an attempt to stifle the voice of the Backward Classes and the spirit of social justice

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