Cuttack, Jan 6 (PTI) A petition has been filed the Odisha High Court seeking counting of votes for Zilla Parishad election at block or district headquarters after completion of the five-phase polling.
Jubuli Sethi of Delanga block, wishing to contest the election for Puri Zilla Parishad Zone 16, in a PIL has challenged last month’s notification issued by the State Election Commissioner (SEC) of Odisha for three-tier panchayat elections.
As per the SEC notification, the five-phase elections for ward members, sarpanches, panchayat samiti members and Zilla Parishad members will be held on February 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21, and the counting of votes would also be held on the same days in the booths itself.
Sethi, in her petition, has stated that since elections for Zilla Parishad members were going to be held under political party affiliations and under different party symbols, counting of these votes should be taken up separately only after completion of polling of all phases, lest the victory of one candidate in a zone could be used in campaign for the same party candidate in the neighbouring zone that would go for voting at a later date.
Stating that the practice of single-day counting of votes were followed in multiple phases of elections in Lok Sabha, Assembly and in urban local bodies (ULB), the petitioner has referred to a guideline in this regard issued by the Election Commission of India in January 2009 in pursuance to an order passed by the Supreme Court in matters relating to publication of results, opinion and exit polls.