Panchayat polls: 2.2 lakh file nominations, final list on Jan 21

Bhubaneswar: As many as 2,20,789 candidates have filed papers for three-tier panchayat polls in Odisha scheduled to begin from February 13. Officials said while 3,880 candidates have filed papers for Zilla Parishad (ZP) member positions, the number is 33,348 for Sarpanch seats. For Panchayat Samiti Members at least 27,475 aspiring candidates have filed papers and, 1,56,086 for Ward Member positions.

A statement released by State Election Commission (SEC) said, with 16,054 nominations Balasore district has received the highest number of papers while Jharsuguda district has the lowest candidates with 1908.

Tuesday was the last day to file nomination papers.

After scrutinisation of papers tomorrow, the list of eligible candidates will be declared. Officials said, candidates wishing to withdraw their names, can do so by 21 January and the final list of candidates in poll fray will be announced on the same date.

No incidents of violence have been reported during the filing of nomination papers, officials said.

“We have completed the filing of nomination papers peacefully. As many as 32 expenditure observers have been appointed to look into the expenses made by the candidates. The officials will begin their field visit from 22 January. General observers have been asked to join duties from tomorrow”, said Rabindra Nath Sahu, secretary, State Election Commission.

In an interesting development Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) leader Nachika Linga and his wife have filed their nominations for Zilla Parishad member and Sarpanch, respectively in the upcoming polls. Linga, currently lodged in Koraput Jail sent his nomination paper for Narayanpatna Zilla Parishad member to the district returning officer through his counsel. His wife filed her paper for Podapadar Panchayat Sarpanch.

Linga had surrendered before police on 28 October, 2014 following which he was arrested. With the help of left wing extremists, Linga had allegedly set up CMAS and become its leader demanding land settlement in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks of Koraput district.

This apart, several cases of murder, attack on police stations, arson and instigating tribals to taking law into their hands were pending against Linga in different police stations.

In Khurda district, residents of Daruthenga on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar have boycotted the ensuing polls demanding shifting of the garbage dumping yard from their village. According to reports, none from the village have filed nomination for sarpanch, samiti member and ward member posts as filing of nominations for three-tier panchayat polls in the state ended today.