UP poll panel declares 22 district panchayat chiefs elected unopposed

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Lucknow, Jun 29 (PTI) Chairpersons of 22 zila panchayats out of a total of 75 in Uttar Pradesh were on Tuesday declared “elected unopposed” by the state poll panel with the BJP claiming victory in 21 seats.

The Samajwadi Party said the remaining one seat in the Etawah district was bagged by its candidate.

The voting for the remaining 53 seats of district panchayat chairpersons will be held on July 3 from 11 am to 3 pm. The counting of votes will start the same day after the polling ends.

UP State Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar, in a statement on Tuesday, said chairpersons of zila panchayats of 22 districts have been elected unopposed.

The poll panel did not announce the party affiliation of winning candidates but the BJP later claimed victory over 21 seats and the SP over one seat of the Etawah district.

The panchayat polls or those for district panchayat chiefs are not held on party basis but candidates enjoy the tacit support of various parties.

The districts where whose zila panchayat chairpersons won unopposed are Saharanpur, Bahraich, Etawah, Chitrakoot, Agra, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Moradabad, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Banda, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Mau, Varanasi, Pilibhit and Shahjahanpur.

Shortly after the result for the polls of 22 zila panchayat chiefs was declared, the state’s UP BJP general secretary J P S Rathore claimed victory of the party’s 21 candidates.

'The BJP won 21 posts of zila panchayat chairpersons who were elected unopposed,” he told PTI.

SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said the party candidate won the Etawah district panchayat chairperson’s post.

The UP State Election Commission in the statement did not mention the name of winners or the political parties supporting them.

A senior official of the SEC said that these elections were not held on party tickets.

Meanwhile, in a bizarre development in Baghpat district on Tuesday, a person impersonating Mamata -- the RLD candidate for the post of zila panchayat chairperson --- turned up to withdraw her name.

As the news spread on social media, the actual RLD candidate Mamata claimed she was in Rajasthan.

This prompted the RLD party workers to stage angry protests outside the district collectorate.

District Magistrate Rajkamal Yadav said, 'A woman claiming herself to be the RLD candidate for the zila panchayat chairperson came to withdraw her name.” “As soon as we got a complaint, the RLD candidate was contacted. Her nomination has not been withdrawn,” he said.

The Baghpat DM also said the woman who made a forged signature will be investigated and stringent action will be initiated against her.

The last date for the withdrawal of nominations was June 29.

Zila panchayat chairpersons are elected from among the elected members of zila panchayats of various districts.

The four-phase panchayat polls concluded in the state last month. PTI NAV RAX RAX

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