As the process for Bihar Panchayat polls began, candidate Azad Alam was seen travelling on a buffalo to file his nomination from Katihar district’s Rampur panchayat on Sunday.
The video of the incident, shared by news agency ANI, has gone viral on social media. In the video, Azad Alam can be seen waving a lathi in his hand. As he travelled on the buffalo, a large crowd of supporters gathered around him and began to follow the procession.
While talking to ANI, Azad Alam said he was a 'cattleman' and was travelling on the buffalo because he could not afford petrol or diesel. "I'm a cattleman, I came here on a buffalo because I can't afford petrol or diesel," said Azad Alam.
The panchayat polls in Bihar will be held in a total of 11 phases, the first phase of voting will be held on September 24 while the last phase of voting will be held on December 12. Voting in districts like Bhojpur, Buxar, Patna, Kaimur and Rohtas will be conducted in 10 phases.
Bihar State Election Commissioner Deepak Prasad had said: "As you know, panchayat election 2021 was supposed to happen in June but due to COVID-19 pandemic, everything got disturbed. After the COVID pandemic, the monsoon came, as soon as the monsoon gets over, we will start with the election process. There are 11 phases, In the first phase, 10 districts will go for the election."
He said, "The election will be conducted for a total of 2,55,022 posts that include an election for 8072 posts of Mukhiya; 1,13,307 posts of Gram panchayat members; 11,104 Panchayat Samiti members; 1,160 posts of Zila Parishad Members; 8072 posts of Gram Kachehri Sarpanch; 1,13,360 post of Gram Kachehri Panch." The total number of rural voters is 6.38 crores while the total number of male voters is 3.35 crore and the total number of female voters is 3.03 crore and other voters are 2471. The total number of election booths is 1,13, 891.
"The unique aspect of the panchayat election is that we will be using the EVM's for the first time and that the entire election process, up to results will be monitored online and the entire process will be digitized," stated Prasad.
The announcement came days after the Bihar government gave a nod to the long-awaited panchayat elections in the state.
(With inputs from ANI)