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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 21: 

Odisha State Election Commission (SEC) today announced that candidates can file fresh nominations for the panchayat polls starting January 27 — in places where either no nomination was filed or all the nominations were rejected following scrutinisation.

odisha-state-election-commission-secretary-rabindra-nath-sahu

“Fresh nominations can be filed on January 27, 28, 29 and 30. The papers will be scrutinised on January 31 and the list of eligible candidates will be declared on February 2,” said SEC Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu speaking to reporters today.

He further added that the candidates can drop out of the race by withdrawing nomination by 3 PM on February 4. The final list of eligible candidates for these places will be published the same day after 3PM.

The overall polling schedule, however, remains unchanged.

In a related development, the SEC today decided to postpone panchayat polls in 18 panchayats including nine in cut-off area and two zilla parishad zones in Malkangiri district based on a joint report from Malkangiri Collector and the SP.

According SEC Secretary Sahu, the decision was taken after supervising the law and order situation in the area.

“We have reviewed the joint report that briefs the law and order situation in Chitrakonda block. We have decided to postpone polls in the area since the government is not in a position to provide security to candidates and voters,” Sahu said.

He further clarified that in case of panchayat samitis and gram panchayats, wherever there has been only one candidate in the fray, the name will be declared later. However, in places without any nomination at all or more than one nominations, the polls have been postponed.

It may be mentioned here that woman samiti sabhya candidate Sabitri Khemudu – who had defied Maoist diktats to avoid contesting in panchayat polls — today withdrew her nomination for Gajalmamudi panchayat on the last date for nomination withdrawal. She was the only candidate who had filed nomination for samiti sabhya position there.