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Panchayat Elections in Jharkhand

 The Latehar panchayat elections 2010, in Jharkhand are to be held shortly.  The stage has been set in the State of Jharkhand to conduct elections after a gap of three decades.  The Supreme court of India has set aside the verdict of the Jharkhand High court dated 2nd Sep 2005.  The SC has upheld the provisions of Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act 2001.


Panchayat Raj would act as a local self-government where in the people at the grass root level would take upon themselves the responsibility of development.  This would help rural development through people’s initiative and participation.


Government of Jharkhand notified the election for Panchayats in Jharkhand state covering 260 blocks and 4,562 village panchayats in 24 Districts. Of this, 132 posts of block heads and 2,071 village panchayat heads are reserved for scheduled tribes (ST). Fifty per cent seats are reserved for women in three tiers of panchayat all over Jharkhand. Once, elected, they are authorised to hold the positions of panchayat for a period of 5 years.


In furtherance of the notification, Jharkhand Government is now gearing up for conducting smooth panchayat electing. It is planned to be held in five phases in 2010, 27th November, 6th December,13th December,20th December and 24th December. The new panchayats will be formed before 1st Jan 2011. 



            The revival of panchayats after a gap of 33 years is creating immense interest and enthusiasm among the citizens. However, conducting election to the grassroots democratic structures from village  panchayat to district levels is a massive effort with long process and many nitty-gritty details are to be observed in conformity with the electoral system. It is the responsibility of the government to conduct Panchayat election in a free, fair and impartial way to elect the panchayat heads to give new lease of life to panchayats.



Like in India, Jharkhand has three tiers of panchayat. First tier is village panchayat.  Second tier is block panchayt, which is called Panchayat Samittees. Third tier/layer is the District Panchayat. Each village panchayat covers a cluster of villages. In each panchayat, through direct election, ward members and Mukkia are to be elected. In each panchayat, according to the demarcated wards, specified ward members will be elected. While doing so, the reservation system of the government of Jharkhand will be strictly observed at all levels to give representation to various segments of marginalised communities and women.



Together with the elected ward members and Mukkia constitutes the village panchayat. This is the base tier/bottom most layer of panchayat.  Once the village panchayat is legally constituted, elected panchayat is authorised to make their own decisions and to draw up plans as per the democratic decisions of the panchayat members.  This process will certainly unleash new opportunities at the grassroots level to make the democratic system live and vibrant with greater ownership of the local development process.


The second tier of panchayat is Panchayat Samittee. It is to be constituted for cluster of village panchayats in a block area. The members of the Panchayat Samittee are to be elected directly by the voters. The elected Samittee members in turn will choose the head of the panchayat samittee through indirect election. The head of the Panchayat Samittee is called the Pramuk/Chairperson. Once these members are elected/ chosen, the intermediary panchayat will be duly constituted. The elected representatives are legally authorised to take decisions related to the development of the block/cluster panchayats. Once constituted, the Panchayat Samittee will bring in the perspectives of the people as per the local development/infrastructure needs. Thus, people centred development process on democratic lines will be institutionalised at the intermediary level of panchayat.

The third tier/apex tier of panchayat is called the district panchayat (Zila parishad). This comprises of directly elected district members of the panchayat. These elected district panchayat members will choose the District/Zilla parishad chairperson through indirect election. Once the district panchayat is constituted, they are authorised to take decisions on all development matters pertaining to the district. This democratic system will hopefully contribute towards decentralised governance and decision making. Once the district panchayat is instituted legally, the process of district level planning from below will take shape.

To make the grassroots democratic process work as per the electoral norms, every voter in Jharkhand State has a greater role to play to cherish and nourish the democratic process. After a long time gap, Government of Jharkhand is now in the process to conduct election to legally institute the panchayats. This is an effort to create and renew citizen driven grassroots democratic system of governance. 

Panchayat Election in Latehar District

Latehar district has 7 blocks and 115 panchayats with 43% of tribal and 23% of scheduled caste population. Latehar district is going to conduct election to 1083 ward members, 115 Mukkias, 9 Pramuks to constitute Panchayat Samittees, 12 Zilla Parishad Members through 1083 polling booths under the dynamic leadership of Shri Rahul Kumar Purwar I.A.S., Deputy Commissioner of Latehar.