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Ramakanta Biswas

The State Election Commission (SEC) of Odisha has increased the poll expenditure limit for candidates who would contest for the posts of sarpanch, panchayat samiti members and Zilla Parishad members in the upcoming panchayat elections in the State likely to be held earlier next year. 

As per the revised expenditure limit, a candidate who would contest for the post of Zilla Parishad member can now spend up to Rs 5 lakh while the expenditure ceiling for panchayat samiti member and sarpanch has been hiked to Rs 2 lakh. 

Similarly, the SEC announced extension of polling time for the forthcoming panchayat election by an hour. 

“In exercise of powers conferred under Article 243-K of Constitution of India read with Rule 18 of the Odisha Gram Panchayat Election Rules, 1965, Rule 17 of the Odisha Panchayat Samiti Election Rules, 1991 and Rule 20 of the Odisha Zilla Parishad Election Rules, 1994 the State Election Commission hereby orders that polling at each Polling Station shall take place during 07 AM to 01 PM for General Elections and by-elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions until further orders,” the SEC stated. 

Moreover, the SEC has enhanced the limit on use of vehicles by the candidates during the election. 

The Zilla Parishad Member candidates now can use a maximum of five jeeps or cars and 10 motorcycles while the Panchayat Samiti Member candidates will be allowed to use two jeeps or cars and five bikes. Sarpanch candidates will be permitted to use two jeeps or cars and five bikes.

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