Odisha Panchayat Polls: No outsider/political leader allowed in poll-bound areas after campaign

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the Panchayat polls, the State Election Commissioner (SEC) Odisha today held a preparatory meeting with all district Collectors on virtual mode.

The meeting had discussion on both  the upcoming Panchayat and Urban Local Body (ULB) elections.

Briefing mediapersons, SEC Aditya Prasad Padhee said a new circular has been issued for the ensuing Panchayat Polls. As per the fresh guidelines, no outsider or political leader will be allowed to remain present in poll-bound areas after completion of campaign. All outsiders have been directed to vacate poll-bound areas by the evening of February 14, he added.

In first phase, polling will be held for 200 Zilla Parishad, 1,669 Sarpanch, 1,669 Samiti member and 22,379 Ward Member posts in 71 blocks of all the 30 districts. A total of 66,51 lakh people will exercise their franchise in first phase of the elections, the SEC informed.

As announced earlier, the Panchayat elections will be held in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Counting of votes and declaration of results will be done at block level on February 26, 27 and 28.

Also Read: Odisha relaxes COVID restrictions for ensuing Panchayat Polls; public meetings now allowed   

Earlier this week, the SEC relaxed certain COVID-19 restrictions, imposed earlier last month for the upcoming Panchayat elections, keeping in view the declining trend of COVID-19.

The SEC allowed poll candidates to carry out door-to-door campaign taking 20 persons. Earlier, five persons were allowed for the purpose. It also gave permission for public meetings by political parties or the candidates on open grounds with participation of a maximum of 300 people.

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