Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday announced the schedule for the ensuing Odisha Panchayat polls.
The panchayat polls in Odisha will be held in five phases starting from February 16, informed State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhi.
Padhi said the three-tier elections will be held in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24.
People will exercise their franchise from 7 am to 1 pm. Counting of votes will take place at Block, Sadar level on February 26, 27 and 28.
Rallies, public meetings will be banned in view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Only digital and virtual campaigning will be allowed, he added.
“Door-to-door campaign will be allowed with only five people. No victory processes will be allowed. Vaccinated and COVID-19 negative people will only be allowed inside counting centres,” he added.
Nomination papers will be filed from January 17 to 21. Scrutiny of the nomination papers will be done on January 22. Candidates can withdraw their nomination by January 25 and the final list of candidates will be issued on the same day.
Elections for Naib Sarpanch will be held on March 11, for Panchayat Samiti Chairman on March 12 and Zilla Parishad Chairman on March 13.
With the announcement of the date, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for political parties and candidates has come into force with immediate effect till the completion of the elections in the state.
The polls will be held in 91,913 wards under 6,794 panchayats in 29 out of 30 districts of the State. In 2017, the election was held in 6,801 GPs.