Amid COVID-19, 85.17% voter turnout recorded in third phase of Rajasthan Panchayat elections


Even though the coronavirus pandemic continues to trouble India, it could not stop the voters in Rajasthan to choose the village government. In 94 gram panchayats of Jaipur district, 85.17 percent polling was recorded while 84.70 per cent voters exercised their right to vote in 35 Gram Panchayats of Jamwaramgarh Panchayat Samiti. 85.65 per cent turnout was recorded in 38 Gram Panchayats of Kotputli Panchayat Samiti while 85.12 per cent voters in 21 Gram Panchayats of Kotkhavada Panchayat Samiti participated in strengthening democracy.

The celebration of democracy overpowered the fear of coronavirus. Under the third phase of panchayat elections, villagers were enthusiastic about voting in 94 gram panchayats of three panchayat committees in Jaipur district on Tuesday. Voting took place in Jamwaramgarh, Kotputli and Kotkhavada Panchayat Samiti areas. After the vote, the counting of votes started. Results kept coming till late night. Supporters of the victorious candidates celebrated their win while there was disappointment in the camp of defeated candidates.

Apart from local voters, people living outside also reached out to choose the village government. Considered to be a question of prestige in the villages, the elections were held amidst the shadow of COVID-19, but the excitement among the voters played the fears down. Rules of social distancing were broken at polling booths. Once again the administration could not succeed in bringing the rules and regulations on the ground. There was a huge crowd outside the polling stations. While people went inside the booth with a mask, they were also seen removing them as soon as they came out.

Among the 94 gram panchayats of Jamwaramgarh, Kotputli and Kotkhawada Panchayat Samiti in Jaipur district recorded a voting percentage of 85.17 percent. By 10 am, 15.54 percent polling had been held in Kotputli Panchayat Samiti, 19.36 percent in Jamavaramgarh Panchayat Samiti and 17.31 percent in Kotkhavada Panchayat Samiti. Till 12 noon, 41.74 per cent in Kotputli Panchayat Samiti, 36.75 per cent in Jamwaramgarh Panchayat Samiti and 32.98 per cent in Kotkhavada Panchayat Samiti had exercised their franchise. Similarly, till 3 pm, 67.77 percent voting was done in Kotputli Panchayat Samiti, 65.75 percent in Jamwaramgarh Panchayat Samiti and 63.90 percent in Kotkhavada Panchayat Samiti. By 5:30 pm, 77.72 per cent voters in Kotputli Panchayat Samiti, 84.07 per cent in Jamavaramgarh Panchayat Samiti and 84.75 per cent voters in Kotkhawada Panchayat Samiti had exercised their franchise. After the voting ended, the total polling in Kotputli was 85.65%, 84.70% in Jamwaramgarh Panchayat Samiti and 85.12% in Kotkhavada Panchayat Samiti.

Till the last moment, candidates were busy in persuading voters. The policemen also stopped interfering after a few hours and focues on maintaining peace only. In many polling booths, people were standing in queues so close to each other as if there was no coronavirus infection. At many places, booths were such that people were forced to stand close to each other. Even in the last moments, the candidates and their supporters were seen bringing the voters. 

In the morning, due to the activeness of the officers and police personnel, there was a struggle to get the COVID-19 rules followed. But gradually, the rules and responsible officer-employees became lax.

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