SEC gears up for 1st phase Panchayat polls in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) today announced the preparations for the first phase Panchayat polls in Odisha scheduled to begin on February 13.

“Elections will be held in 189 Zilla Parishad Zones in 29 districts in which a total of 58,28,446 voters will exercise their franchise for which arrangements have been made for polling in 20,369 booths. The elections would be held in 1506 Gram Panchayats,” SEC secretary Rabindranath Sahu told media persons here.

He further said the Commission has directed the district collectors to make necessary arrangements for installation of CCTV cameras and videography in the sensitive booths, if required.

Polling would begin at 7 AM.

Sahu said as announced by the Commission in its earlier notification, campaigning for the first phase elections will come to an end by this evening while the polling parties would reach their allotted polling booths by afternoon tomorrow.

“Besides, the leaders, who are not the voters and presently staying in the area where the elections would be held on February 13, will have to leave the area by this evening,” he added.

The Panchayat elections will be held for the posts of 853 Zilla Parishad members, 6,802 Sarpanches, 6,801 Panchayat Samiti members and 92,052 ward members, in which 2,60,92,507 voters will exercise their franchise.

As informed by the SEC RN Senapati, elections will be held in five phases on February 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21. Polling on each of these five days will start at 7 am and go on till 12 noon.