Jaipur, Sep 28 (PTI) Over 81 per cent of the 31.95-lakh voters cast their votes on Monday in the first phase of the gram panchayat elections in Rajasthan.
Polling for posts of sarpanch and panch of 947 gram panchayats in 25 districts began at 7.30 am.
Till 5.30 pm, the tentative voting percentage was 81.48 per cent, poll officials said.
The state election commission had issued guidelines for ensuring compliance of protocols like social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitisation in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But at a few places, there were reports of violation of social distancing norms.
'There might have been isolated incidents of violation of social distancing at one point of time, but by and large, the protocols were followed,' the commission's secretary Shyam Singh Rajpurohit.
Barmer's Dhorimanna Panchayat Samiti, where two gram panchayats went to poll, recorded the highest 94.66 voting percentage, while the lowest percentage (66.18) was in Jalore's Jayla Panchayat Samiti.
Rajpurohit said that the commission had issued comprehensive guidelines for voters and polling parties and those who were engaged in the election process.
EVM machines, used in polling for the post of Sarpanch, were sanitised and voters were given entry after they sanitised their hands, he said.
Elections in 55 village panchayats of the Sarada and the Gogunda panchayat samitis of Udaipur district had been postponed in view of the prevailing situation in neighbouring Dungarpur district.
Violence erupted last Thursday in Dungarpur district, where candidates of a recruitment exam blocked a highway and torched vehicles.
The situation improved on Sunday after the protesters cleared the Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway and ended their dharna at a village closed to it after a meeting with public representatives, including Tribal Area Development Minister Arjun Singh Bamniya, and officials.
'Since police force was engaged in law and order, and polling parties were facing problems in reaching the gram panchayats of Udaipur, the decision was taken to postpone the elections in the 55 gram panchayats,' Rajpurohit had said.
In total, 3,848 gram panchayats will go to polls in the state in four phases.
The second phase of election will take place on October 3, third on October 6 and the fourth on October 10. PTI SDA ANB ANB