Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 27:

The State Election Commission (SEC) today announced dates for panchayat polls across Odisha.

Pic Courtesy: The Indian Express

As per a notification issued by the SEC in this regard, the elections will be held in five phases on February 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21.

Casting of votes would take place from 7 am to 12 noon and counting of votes will be done from 1 pm onwards on these days, informed State Election Commissioner Rabi Narayan Senapati at a press conference here today.

Nomination papers will be filed between January 11 and 17 except government holidays, while scrutiny of the same will be held on Jan 18. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is January 21 and the final list of candidates will be published on the same day, the official said.

With the announcement, the poll code of conduct came into force from today.

The elections will be held for the posts of 853 Zilla Parishad Members, 6802 sarpanchs, 6801 panchayat samiti members and 92,052 ward members in which 2,60,92,507 voters will decide the fate of the candidates.

The state government has reserved 50 per cent seats for women candidates in the panchayat elections.

However, there will be no polling in six panchayats of the state– Parjang in Dhenkanal, Dashrathpur in Jajpur, Kolabira and Laikera in Jharsuguda, Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi and Rengali in Sambalpur– as interim stay order of the Orissa High Court still prevails there.

On the other hand, Dhinkia panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district will not go to polls as its term is yet to be over. However, elections for Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad members will be held there.