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An Introduction

  • Gram Panchayats as units of local self government, have existed in India since olden days. Keeping in view the importance of Panchayats in the rural administration in India, the framers of Indian Constitution have provided, as a directive principle of State Policy, Article 40 which makes provisions for establishing Panchayats as well as endowing them with adequate powers. Through the 73rd amendment to the Constitution, provisions have been made for the three tier Panchayat System ensuring elections to various Panchayats at a fixed interval, and for giving adequate powers to the Panchayats for discharge of their duties. Gram Panchayat at the level of the village or at the level of a group of villages, Zilla Panchayat at the level of a district and block (Janpad) Panchayat at the intermediate level, have also been provided. At the same time regular elections to these three tier Panchayats at five year intervals have been ensured.

  • Like the Panchayats in rural areas, provisions for Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats have been provided in the Constitution by the 74th amendment to the Constitution, for the self-governance in urban areas. Provision has also been made for regular and compulsory elections at a fixed interval to these urban bodies.

  • In order to have regular elections to Gram Panchayats and urban local bodies after a fixed period of time provisions have been made by Articles 243-K and 243-ZA, for the establishment of a State Election Commission for each State consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor of the respective state, in which superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of all elections, to the Panchayats and the Municipalities, have been vested. It has also been provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of a High Court, so that he can discharge his Constitutional duties freely. It has further been provided that when so requested by the State Election Commissioner, the Governor of the State shall make available to the State Election Commission such staff as may be necessary for the effective discharge of the functions. The duty of conducting free, fair and orderly elections to the Panchayats and Municipalities in the State, is vested in the State Election Commission.

  • Chhattisgarh, the State Election Commission has been established on 28 September, 2002. Dr. Sushil Trivedi assumed charge as the first State Election Commissioner on 1st October 2002. During his tenure, the State Election Commission completed the bye-election (Panchayats) in May-June, 2003. State Election Commission conducted the first General Elections to Panchayats and Municipalities in November-December, 2004. Shri Shivraj Singh assumed charge as the second State Election Commissioner on 30 September, 2008. During his tenure, the State Election Commission conducted the second General elections to the Panchayats and Municipalities in January-February, 2010. Shri Shivraj Singh resigned from his post on 31 May, 2010. Shri Prafull Chandra Dalei had been worked as the third State Election Commissioner from 29 June 2010 to 23 August 2016. Thakur Ram Singh has assumed charge as the fourth State Election Commissioner on 23 August 2016 and is holding the position at present.