Ramakanta Biswas

The filing of nominations by candidates for the upcoming general elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Odisha commenced on Monday.  

Candidates aspiring for the posts of Sarpanchs, Samiti members and Zilla Parishad members were seen preparing necessary documents for filing nomination papers. With several aspirants in the race, political parties were also seen holding meetings to finalise candidates at the last moment. 

"I am going to file nomination from Ward No 10 of Jamudiha Panchayat. I offered prayer at Shiva temple in our village before coming to submit my papers. I am hopeful of a better result and feel that BJD will win the seat," said a sarpanch aspirant from Balasore district. 

"As per the directive, we can issue nomination forms to candidates from 11 am. So far no candidate has turned up to take the papers," said Sarat Chandra Rout, returning officer of Jamudiha panchayat. 

As per the schedule released earlier, candidates can file their nominations for Sarpanchs, Samiti members and Zilla Parishad member posts from January 17 to January 21 while the scrutiny of the nomination papers will be done on January 22.

The candidates can withdraw their nomination papers till January 25 while the final list of candidates will be published on the same day. 

On the other hand, the campaigning for the upcoming polls is going on in full swing. Candidates were seen visiting door-to-door by following the Covid safety guidelines and appealing voters to vote in their favour. Besides, campaigns through digital media and social media also going on to reach out to the voters.     

The Panchayat polls will be held in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24. The counting of votes and declaration of results will be done at all the block levels on February 26, 27, and 28.

Around 2.79 crore voters across the State will exercise their franchise to elect 91,913 Ward members, 6,794 Sarpanchs, 6,793 Panchayat Samiti members, and 853 Zilla Parishad members.

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