Chapter 11: State Election Commissions and Local Bodies.
3rd tier of governance in both rural and urban areas [local bodies] was given constitutional backing by the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments. It envisaged the setting up of State Election Commission [SEC] consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor of the state for conducting these elections. District Panchayats, Intermediate Panchayats and Village Panchayats in rural areas and Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils and Town/Nagar Panchayats in urban areas are set up for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and elections are to be completed before the expiry of its duration or six months from the date of its dissolution.
The Superintendence, direction and control of preparation of electoral rolls and conduct of all elections to rural and urban local bodies vest with the SECs. There are 31 SECs in the country. In the Constitutional framework, laws regarding Panchayat elections are framed by States, and therefore, there is variation across States.