No contenders yet for 318 Sambalpur posts

Not a single nomination paper for as many as 318 ward member posts has been filed yet in Sambalpur district though the three-tier panchayat polls are just round the corner. Official sources denied that fear of Maoists is keeping candidates at bay, instead blaming the reservation system for the lacuna.

“Due to reservation system in certain areas, availability of candidates with required qualifications is a major problem. We have a total of 1,874 ward member seats in the district, out of which for 318 seats there was no nominations and in 200 seats there were single nominations,” a senior official of the district said.

Sambalpur district has nine blocks, out of which Bamra, Jujomora and Jamenkira blocks are known to be Maoist infested. In Bamra block, out of a total of 216 wards, there was no nomination in 55 wards. In Jujomora there was no nomination in 22 wards and in Jamenkira there was no nomination in more than 60 wards.

“Since there is fear of Maoists, people do not want to take risk in certain areas,” a senior activist of Sambalpur district said.

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