Kutra: As the days of voting draw closer for the panchayat polls in state, candidates, independent or with backing from various political parties, have intensified their campaign leaving no stones unturned to woo voters.
In a one-of-its-kind incident, residents of Malupada village under Kutra panchayat in Sundargarh district got united and made the sarpanch candidates appear for a written test to prove their mettle for the post, Thursday evening.
As a result, as many as eight sarpanch candidates contesting from Kutra panchayat had to appear in a written examination in order to win the confidence of the residents.
It is probably the first-of-its-kind incident where villagers organised a written test of sarpanch candidates ahead of the panchayat polls in the state. In the test, eight out of nine candidates appeared for the test while only three managed to clear the test.
Reports said that the locals invited all the nine candidates to the village Thursday evening. They asked them to appear for a written test comprising seven questions related to the development of the village and the gram panchayat.
The aim behind holding such an unusual test is to gain an idea on the candidates if they will be able to work for the village and the panchayat.
They also informed them that they will vote for that candidate who will be able to answer the questions and pass the test.
The candidates appearing for the test were identified as Ajit Haro, Amrutlal Toppo, Chanchala Ekka, Jeetendra Toppo, Dillip Kulu, Nuas Dang, Feroje Dungdung, Bhuban Kujur and Lalita Barua.
The questions were based on their purpose behind becoming a sarpanch candidate, welfare activities to be undertaken by them, will they visit from door-to-door to solve the issues of the locality if they are elected as a sarpanch, number of wards, villages and people in the panchayat etc and the goals for the next five year if they get elected as a sarpanch, five selfless services they have fulfilled, the gram panchayat of their dream and explain about the former sarpanch.
The villagers said only three cleared the test while the rest were unsuccessful.
The villagers said that they decided to hold the test as scores of candidates and political leaders roam around the villages seeking votes but shun them once they become successful.