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Gram Panchayat Election 2021: Seven members of Ralegan Siddhi Gram Vikas Panel win local polls in Anna Hazare's native village

09:56 AM Jan 19, 2021 | PTI

Seven members of a panel in social activist Anna Hazare's native village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra on Monday won the local gram panchayat elections.

While seven members from the Ralegan Siddhi Gram Vikas Panel, in Ahmednagar district, won the gram panchayat polls, two from the same panel were elected unopposed earlier.

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Gram panchayat elections, covering more than 30 districts of the state, were held on January 15 and the results declared on Monday.

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According to a close aide of Hazare, before the polls, it was decided to elect nine members of the local gram panchayat from two rival groups unopposed.

He said there are two groups in the village.

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"One belongs to Jaysingh Mapari, while others are of Bhagesh Auti. This time, a meeting was called in the presence of Anna and both the groups came to an understanding that the nine members will be chosen through mutual understanding to avoid elections.

"Both the groups came to an understanding in the presence of Anna," said Sanjay Pathade, the close aide of the anti-corruption crusader.

However, some youth raised an objection and met Hazare expressing their desire to represent the village, he said.

"Anna then said that if youths want to come into the gram panchayat and connect elections, let the elections take place," Pathade said.

Two members of the panel were elected unopposed while polling took place for the remaining seven seats.

"In today's results, all seven members from the Ralegan Siddhi Gram Vikas Panel won their respective seats," he added.

Pathade, however, said it is wrong to say that Hazare backed the panel.

"Anna never endorses any group or party. It is just that Anna was pushing for members to be elected unopposed, but when youths said they wanted to contest polls, he agreed," Pathade said.

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