Chandigarh April 16:The Government of Punjab has notified that the general elections to the Panchayat Samitis and the Zila Parishads shall be held by 15th May, 2008 and the general elections to Gram Panchayats be held by 31st May, 2008. Earlier, the State Government had recommended that the general elections to all the three Panchayati Raj Institutions be held simultaneously. However, based upon the reports of the Deputy Commissioners, the State Government has now recommended that conduct of elections to all the three Panchayati Raj Institutions on the same day shall pose serious operational problems.
Casting of three ballot papers by each voter shall involve considerable time and even the extended polling hours from 8 AM to 5 PM shall not be adequate for this purpose and this may in some places even result in a law and order problem. Some Deputy Commissioners are also facing problems in the appointment of requisite number of poll personnel for the conduct of the three elections simultaneously. Accordingly, the State Government has recommended that the General Elections to the three Panchayati Raj Institutions may be held in two phases. The State Election Commission has considered the problems posed by the Deputy Commissioners and accepted the recommendation of the State Government. Accordingly, the poll for General Election to the Panchayat Samitis and the Zila Parishads shall be held on 12th May 2008. Detailed date-wise schedule for this purpose shall be issued separately. However, the Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately. The poll for general election to the Gram Panchayats shall be held in the last week of May, 2008 and the date of poll and detailed schedule shall be announced separately.