Semi-final before Assembly polls: Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections likely in March

Express News Service
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Election Commission has cancelled the controversial Katrani Village Panchayat election in Nasik district where 11 members were elected through open auctioning.

According to the Election commission, the Katrani village Panchayat election was scheduled on January 15, but following media reports, a stay order was passed. However, after the primary probe, the entire election process has been cancelled. The EC has also decided to initiate action against the people who violated the principles of free elections.

State Election Commissioner UPS Madan said that they had probed the circulated videos of that particular Village Panchayat of auctioning, and on basis of primary probe report, the decision was undertaken.

“All the eleven candidates of this Katrani Village Panchayat had been elected unopposed through auctions. The commission had refused to announce the results of this unopposed election. Taking note of the auction complaint, the commission had called for a report from the Nashik District Collector, District Superintendent of Police, Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Manmad. The commission also separately observed conversations in various submitted documents and audio recordings. It was decided to cancel the election process as facts were found true in it,” said Madan.

He further said that legal action will be taken against the persons concerned under Section 9-A of the Indian Penal Code or other provisions of the Act. “We have asked the concerned authorities to submit their detailed probe report to Election Commission. The aspiring candidates have been barred from contesting elections in an open environment and voters have been deprived of the right to vote as well. This is a violation of the basic principles and code of conduct of democracy,” Madan added.