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Ahead of local body elections, TNSEC urges Collectors to act against Councillor posts being auctioned
Amid allegations of auctioning of village panchayat posts, the State Election Commission on Friday urged District Collectors to take stern action againstthose who auction posts of local body councillors in town and village panchayats.
“There are reports that the post of councillors are being auctioned and this is not only against democracy but is also a serious crime under election rules,” TNSEC said in a note to the Collectors, who are also District Election Officers.
The TNSEC, which has begun the nomination process for civic polls in nine districts urged the stakeholders, including public political parties and the officials, to ensure free and fair polls on October 6 and 9. According to SEC, the Commission has to fill up about 27,000 posts for local bodies in rural areas and the majority are to be through councillors elected on non-political party symbols.
“The objective of the panchayat polls is to create a level playing field so that good independent candidates are also elected, but this practice of auction elections is not new to the State. The village headmen or the priests misguide the public on matters related to panchayat poll violations,” an official said.
However, this practice is not prevalent in urban local bodies where the winning margin should be high for councillors and the elections are fought on the party symbols. On Thursday, the second day for filing nominations, a total of 4,975 for four categories of councillors including gram panchayat ward members and village panchayat presidents were received by the poll officials. The Commission also urged aspiring councillors not to gather crowd during the nomination process and urged them to adhere to COVID safety norms.