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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Taking the first step towards the conduct of the upcoming three-tier Panchayat elections in Odisha, the State government on Friday published the draft lists of reservations for the same.

An order in this connection was issued by the Panchayati Raj Department to all the district Collectors, which said, “The General Election to PRIs is likely to be held in the State in the year 2022. Consequently, the reservation of seats is required to be completed within the time frame at the level of District/ Government as per provision of the PRI Act/Rules.”

“A programme to complete the works approved by the government has been enclosed and u are requested to complete the work within the stipulated time as mentioned in the programme,” stated the order.

The reservation list containing a total of 6,800 Sarpanch and Samiti members, 92,000 Ward members, 853 Zilla Parishad members and 314 Block presidents has been published today.

As per the order, Candidates willing to object to the allotment of reservation for the posts of Ward member, Sarpanch, Samiti member and Block Chairman can file claims by October 16. The disposal of the claims shall be done by the Collectors at the district level by October 21. The final list of reservation will be published on October 26.

Similarly, candidates for Zilla Parishad member can also file objections against the reservation in the draft list which was also released today. Claims and objections in such cases will be entertained till October 18.

The district Collectors have been empowered to dispose of the claims by October 22. The government will approve the reservation list on October 29 which will be followed by the communication of the final list to the State Election Commission on October 30.

Speaking to reporters, the Panchayati Raj Minister,Pratap Jena, said, “The election will be held at the right time. The list of all the reservations will be submitted with the Election Commissionof Odisha.”

After the final list is submitted to the Commission, it will begin the process to prepare the voter list for the election, which will take 45-60 days, informed Rabindranath Sahu, the Secretary of State Election Commission.

If sources are to be believed, the Panchayat elections next year will be held in multiple phases exactly like it was done in 2017.

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