New Delhi: To elect 9,171 sarpanches and 90,400 panches, over 9,000 panchayats will go to the polls in Rajasthan next month. The polls for the panchayat will be held in three phases on January 17, 22 and 29.

As per updates from the EC, the polling will be held from 8 AM to 5 PM and the counting will be held on the same day.

“For the smooth conduct of the polls, 34,525 polling booths have been set up across 33 districts,” state Election Commissioner P S Mehra told PTI.

He further stated that EVM machines would be in use for the election of sarpanches for the first time in the state, while the election of panches would be conducted through ballot papers.

In the polls slated for next month, 3.08 crore voters, including 14.7 crore women, will exercise their franchise.

As part of the educational qualification of the candidates, the state government this time has cancelled the condition for sarpanches. However, as per the criteria set by the previous BJP government, the person from general category need to be Class 8 pass to contest in the election. Candidates belonging to the SC/ST category need to be Class 5 pass to contest in the elections.

However, the EC has increased the limit on election expenditure from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 for the panchayat elections in the state.