Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 11:

The deadline for the campaigning ahead of the first-phase polling for three-tier panchayat polls in Odisha came to an end this evening as voting will commence on Monday.

Pic Courtesy:

As per information provided by State Election Commission (SEC), campaigning for first phase panchayat poll in the state concluded at 7.00 pm today. The voters will cast their votes in first phase to elect as many as 189 Zilla Parishad members in 65 blocks spread over 29 of the 30 districts. Similarly, voting will be conducted to elect 1506 Sarpanchs and Samiti member and 20, 369 Ward Members.

“Elections will be held in 189 Zilla Parishad Zones in 29 districts in which 58, 28, 446 voters will exercise their franchise. Elaborate arrangements have been made for polling in 20,369 booths. The elections would be held in 1506 Gram Panchayats,” SEC secretary Rabindranath Sahu informed here today.

Polling parties would reach their deputed polling booths by tomorrow and polling would be held from 7.00 am till 12 noon the following day, he added.

This apart, the politicians, who do not have voting rights in a particular segment, have been asked to leave the area by this evening, Sahu said.

Security arrangements have been put in place at sensitive booths especially in Kalahandi, Rayagada and Kandhamal in view of Maoist call for bandh and poll boycott.

Also Read: Maoists call for bandh, poll boycott in 3 Odisha dists on Feb 13

Meanwhile, eight booths under Khaprakhol block in Bolangir district have been shifted in view of Maoist threat.

It may be mentioned here that the three-tier elections will be held for the posts of 853 Zilla Parishad members, 6, 802 Sarpanchs, 6, 801 Samiti members and 92, 052 Ward Members for which 2, 60, 92, 507 voters will cast their votes.

Notably, the panchayat polls will be held in five phases – February 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21. Polling on each of these five days will start at 7 am and go on till 12 noon. Counting of votes are scheduled to begin from 1.00 pm.