Panchayat Elections in India

In contrast to cities and suburbs administrations, Panchayati Raj (Council of five officials) is a form of local self-government in rural India. It is made up of Panchayati Raj Institutions, that are responsible for achieving rural self-government. “Economic growth, enhancing economic equality, and execution of State and Central Government Initiatives, such as those 29 issues included in the Eleventh Schedule,” they are charged for.

There seem to be three levels of PRIs in republics or Union Territories with populations of much more over two million people, according to the law:

  • Gram Panchayats are village-level government bodies.
  • The Panchayat Samiti at the block level
  • At the local level, the Zila Parishad

There are only 2 types of PRIs in state or Union Territories having populations under two million. The Gram Sabha is the organization by which village residents engage actively in local governance. It is made up of all eligible voters residing in a Gram Panchayat’s region. Each 5 years, elections are held for representatives of the Panchayati raj institutions at all tiers. People of Scheduled Castes and Tribes should be represented in the Panchayats in similar percentage as the general public. Females should be given one-third of all seats and chairperson jobs, or in some regions, half of all votes and chairperson positions.

In India, the Panchayati Raj is presently a government structure wherein village panchayats seem to be the basic components of local government. Gram Panchayat, Mandala Parishad or Blocks Samiti or Panchayat Samiti, and Zila Parishad are the three different levels of the structure. The Panchayati Raj system is presently in place in all provinces, with the exception of Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, and in all Union List, with the exception of Delhi.

Three kinds of funding are available to Panchayats:

  • Payments to local governments, as suggested by the Central Finance Committee
  • Funding for the execution of government-sponsored programmes
  • State legislatures distribute the funds following the advice of the State Finance Committees.

Panchayat’s tenure:

Each Panchayat must exist for a period of 5 years from the day set for its initial session, until earlier disbanded under any law currently in force.

No change to any law may have the existence of dissolving a Panchayat at any stage that was operating prior to the modification, until the expiry of the period provided in clause (1).

An election to form a Panchayat must be accomplished:

  • Before the end of the term indicated in clause (1);
  • Before the end of the six-month period following its abolition.

Provided, however, that if the balance of the term wherein the disbanded Panchayat might have lasted is much less than 6 months, no vote underneath this section is required to re-establish the Panchayat for just that time.

A Panchayat formed after a Panchayat is disbanded even before end of its term is only valid for the rest of the time for which the disbanded Panchayat would’ve been valid under clause (1) if it were not disbanded.

Membership disqualification

An individual is ineligible for just being elected as a member of a Panchayat –

If he or she is disqualified by or under any legislation in force again for sake of election to the State legislature involved: Provided, however, that almost no individual may be ineligible on the basis of being below the age of 25 if he has reached the age of twenty-one;

If he or she is ineligible by and under any legislation enacted by the State Legislature.

If there is any doubt as to whether a person of a Panchayat has been liable to any of exclusions listed in clause (1), the matter must be addressed to such body and in such a way as the Legislature of a States might specify by law.

Panchayats’ power to levy a tax and their funds

A state’s parliament may, by law. –

  • Empower a Panchayat to charge, administer, and spend such tax, charges, tolls, and fees in compliance with so much procedures and limitations;
  • Allot to a Panchayat all tax, charges, tolls, and charges imposed and received by the State Legislature for these kinds of purposes and according to such requirements and limitations;
  • Provision for these kinds of grants-in-aid to be made to Panchayats from the Government’s Common Budget; and
  • Allow for the establishment of these Funds for the crediting of any income collected by or on account of the Panchayati raj institutions, as well as the withdrawal of these money, as would be stipulated in the act.

Gram panchayat Sabha

Its chosen representative is the Sarpanch. Members of the village panchayats are chosen for a five-year term by the village’s voter base inhabitants.

  • Local and state taxes, like those levied on waterways, pilgrimages, regional hindu temples (temples), and marketplaces
  • A fixed allocation from the state legislature based on the land income and funds for works and projects allocated to the Parishads.
  • Donations

Panchayat Samiti (block level panchayat)

The block panchayat has a variety of different titles, similar to how the tehsil has several identities in various regions of India, such as mandal and taluka. In Andhra, it is recognized as Mandala Praja Sabha, in Gujarat and Kannada as Tehsil Panchayat, and in Bombay as Panchayat Samiti. The blocks committee is similar to the gramme panchayat in terms of structure, although it is at a greater level.

Composition

The block panchayat is largely made up of non-official members, including all of the Sarpanchas in the Panchayat Samiti region, the area’s MPs and MLAs, the subdivision’s sub-district administrator, and co-opt representatives.

Block panchayat representatives, like grama panchayat and district panchayat representatives, are elected directly in Kerala.

A chairman and vice chairman lead the Panchayat Samiti, which is chosen for a five-year period.

Functions

  • Development of agricultural and infrastructural development projects
  • Primary care facilities and preschools are being established.
  • Provision of drinkable water, sewage, and road building and maintenance
  • Cottages and small-scale industries, as well as collaborative groups, are being developed.
  • In India, youth groups are being formed.

Zila parishad

Zila Parishad is the name given to the district-level administration of the advance system under Panchayat Raj. The chief of administration is an IAS officer who also serves as the district’s chief officer of the Panchayat Raj.

Composition

The membership ranges from 40 to 60 people and normally includes:

  • The Area Deputy Director
  • All Panchayat Samitis in the state’s president
  • The district’s leaders of all governmental agencies
  • Parliamentarians and Legislative Council Representatives from the district
  • Every cooperative society’s member
  • Certain women and people of Scheduled Castes may be underrepresented if they are not appropriately documented.

Functions

  • Offer necessary goods and infrastructure to the rural people.
  • Provide producers with improved varieties of seeds and information on new farming techniques.
  • Establishing and operating schools and libraries in remote regions.
  • Establish basic health care centers and hospitals in villages, as well as immunization campaigns to combat diseases.
  • Put strategies in place for the advancement of reserved castes and communities; maintain an ashram for Adivasi kids; and establish free dormitories for them.
  • Support entrepreneurs to develop small businesses and put in place rural economic programmes.
  • Build and maintain roads, highways, as well as other public amenities.
  • Create job opportunities
  • Assists with hygiene issues
Sl.NoStates/UTsYear and month when election held lastYear and month when next election dueRemarks
1Andhra PradeshGP: Feb 2021GP: Feb 2026BP & DP Panchayat Elections were held on 08.04.2021 as per SEC’s notification dt. 01.04.2021.
    However, AP High Court, vide its judgment dt. 21.05.2021, has set-aside SEC’s notification dt. 01.04.2021 and directed SEC to issue notification afresh for resuming election process. SEC is yet to announce dates for BP/DP.
  BP: April 2014BP: April 2019 
     
  DP: April 2014DP : April 2019 
2Andman & Nicobar IslandNovember, 2020Nov-25Elections held on 08.11.2020
3Arunachal PradeshDec-20Dec-25Elections held on 22nd December,2020.
4AssamDec-18December, 2023 
5BiharApril-May 2016April-May 2021Dates yet to be announced.
6ChhattisgarhFeb-20Feb-25 
7Daman & DiuNov-20Nov-25Elections held on 08.11.2020
 Dadar & Nagar Haveli   
8GujaratGP: Dec 2016GP: Dec 2021 
  BP: Feb 2021BP: Feb 2026 
  DP: Feb 2021DP: Feb 2026 
9GoaMay-17May-22 
10HaryanaJan-16Jan-21Matter sub-judice in High Court of Punjab & Haryana vide CWP-1196-2021. Next date of hearing is 20.08.2021.
11Himachal PradeshJan-21Jan-26Elections held in January 2021.
12Union Territory of Jammu & KashmirDec-18Dec-23 
13JharkhandDec-15Dec-20SEC has instructed on 19.02.2021 to concerned officers for delimitation of panchayats in districts.
14KarnatakaGP:Dec 2020GP:Dec 2025Dates for BP & ZP Elections-2021 are to be announced.
     
  BP: January-February 2016BP:January-February 2021 
     
  DP: : January-February 2016DP:January-February 2021 
15KeralaDec  2020Dec-25 
16Union Territory of LaddakhDec-18Dec-23 
17LakshadweepDecember, 2017Dec-22 
18Madhya PradeshFeb-15Feb-20State Election Commission has not announced the schedule soon.
19MaharashtraGP:*GP:*Elections for GPs in Maharashtra are to be scheduled on different dates as per their respective tenure of Five year.
     
  BP: Jan./Feb., 2017BP: Jan./Feb., 2022 
     
  DP: Jan/Feb.,2017DP: Jan/Feb.,2022 
20ManipurSep-17Sep-22 
21OdishaFeb-17Feb-22 
22PuducherryJul-06July 2011 @State Election Commission has recently been appointed.
23PunjabDec-18Dec-23 
24RajasthanFebruary 2019/20Feb-25 
25SikkimNov-17Nov-22 
26Tamil NaduDecember 2019#Dec-24 
27TelanganaGP: January 2019GP: January 2024 
     
  BP: May 2019BP: May 2024 
     
  DP: May 2019DP: May 2024 
28TripuraJul-19Jul-24 
29Uttar PradeshApr-21Apr-26 
30UttarakhandOctober 2019 for :12 districtsOctober2024 for 12 DistrictsState Election Commission has recently been appointed.
     
  January 2016: HaridwarJanuary 2021: Haridwar 
31West BengalJul-18Jul-23