Odisha Panchayat Polls: No elections in 7 GPs this time

Bhubaneswar: The forthcoming Panchayat Polls scheduled next year will be held in 6,794 Gram Panchayats (GPs) across the state. In 2017, the election was held in 6,801 GPs.

Briefing mediapersons, State Election Commission (SEC) Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu today said the ensuing Panchayat Polls will not be held in seven GPs this time as they have been included in NACs. The seven GPs include four from Remuna in Balasore, two from Odanga in Nayagarh and one from Bijepur in Bargarh district.

Similarly, the three-tier panchayat polls this time will be held in total 91,916 wards, excluding 111 wards. In 2017, the elections were held in 92,027 wards, the official added.

Earlier yesterday, the SEC in a notification said candidates of the panchayat polls can spend more money and use more vehicles.

While candidates contesting for Zilla Parishad member can spend up to Rs 5 lakh, the limit for expenses for Panchayat Samiti Member candidate and Sarpanch has been increased to Rs 2 lakh. Similarly, Zilla Parishad member candidates can use five jeeps or cars and 10 bikes for campaigning while Panchayat Samiti member candidates are allowed to use two jeeps or cars and five bikes. Sarpanch candidates are allowed to use two jeeps or cars and five bikes.

Also Read: Odisha Panchayat Poll: State Election Commission increases expense limit of candidates

The SEC also extended duration of polling period by an hour. Voting will be held between 7 am and 1 pm instead of the previous time of 7 am – 12 noon. Earlier on November 6, political parties, at an all-party meeting, had urged the SEC to increase the duration of the polling period.

The elections will be conducted for the posts of 6,800 Sarpanchs and Panchayat Samiti members, 92,000 ward members , 853 Zilla Parishad members and 314 Panchayat Samiti Chairpersons.

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