Vikash Sharma

Barring stray incidents of pre-poll violence, the first-leg of the crucial panchayat elections in Odisha came to end with over 2.29 lakh nomination papers being filed by candidates by the end of the deadline on Friday.

As per official sources, as many as 1,62,297 aspirants have filed nominations for the post of ward member while 34,613 nominations were filed for the post of Sarpanch.

According to the officials in the State Election Commission, candidates have submitted 28,153 nomination papers for the election to Panchayat Samiti members and 3,999 for Zilla Parishad member post.

However, as many as five Panchayats have boycotted the forthcoming polls to be conducted to elect representatives to various rural bodies in the State.

Sukuru Barla, Panchayat Election Officer, Parposi, informed that not even a single nomination has been filed for Sarpanch, Samiti member or Ward member posts in five Panchayats (Parposi, Jharagogua, Jharmunda, Gandam, Dimirikuda) of Tileibani block in Deogarh district.

As per the State Election Commission, the last date for withdrawal of nominations is January 25. The panchayat polls in Odisha will be held in five phases – February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 from 7 am to 1 pm. The counting of votes will take place on February 26, 27 and 28.

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