AGARTALA, Sept 1 - The Panchayat by-elections in 3,386 seats of three-tier Panchayati Raj System would be held in Tripura on September 30 putting all speculations to a rest. While by-elections will be held in 3,207 seats of Gram Panchayats, by-polls will also be taken in 161 seats of Panchayat Samity and 18 seats of Zilla Parisad as the seats fell vacant after resignation of elected members.
�The by-election to casual vacancies will be held on September 30 and notification for the by-poll will be issued on September 4 while filing of nomination papers will be allowed till September 11�, said State Election Commissioner (SEC) GK Rao.
At a press conference, the SEC on Saturday said scrutiny will be done on September 12 while last date for withdrawal of nomination papers will be on September 14. And, the counting of re-poll will be taken up on October 13, he added.
Rao said altogether 7,85,321 voters are eligible to take part in the by-election and polling will be taken up in 1,730 polling booths spreading over 35 RD Blocks.
The by-election will be held on printed ballot papers as there is no provision of using EVMs in local bodies� elections. �The counting will be held in 35 Blocks under tight security by Central paramilitary forces. There will be CCTV coverage too to ensure free and fair poll�, he said.
Rao further said the model code of conduct will come into force from September 4, the date for issue of notification for by-election.
The by-election will be a litmus test for the ruling BJP after its landslide victory in Assembly elections in February last. The party has already geared up to consolidate its base at the grassroot level which was held by the CPM for 25 years.
The CPI(M) has already declared it would contest the by-elections even if democracy is under threat under the new BJP-IPFT Government in the State.