Odisha Panchayat Polls: Filing Of Nomination Begins; Check Guidelines For Candidates

Bhubaneswar: The filing of nominations by candidates for the upcoming panchayat elections in Odisha began on Monday.

Candidates can file their nominations from January 17 to 21. Scrutiny of papers will be done on January 22. The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is January 25. The final list of candidates will be out on January 25.

In view of the COVID-19 situation in the state, the State Election Commission (SEC) has issued guidelines for candidates during the filing of nomination papers:

* Candidates, supporters and others accompanying him or her to the nomination centre will wear masks at all times, use sanitisers and maintain social distancing.

* Only one person, the candidate or proposer, will be allowed inside the nomination official’s chamber or office.

* Only one vehicle has been allowed per candidate to reach the nomination centre.

The three-tier panchayat elections in Odisha will be held in five phases from February 16 to 24.

Polling will take place on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 from 7 am to 1 pm. Results will be declared on February 26, 27 and 28. Counting will be done at the block level, not booths.

Elections will be held to 853 zilla parishads, 6,794 panchayats and 91,913 wards. Over 2.79 crore voters will exercise their franchise.

Filing of affidavits by candidates has been made mandatory during nomination and filing false affidavits is a punishable offence. No rallies and public meetings have been allowed. Only door-to-door and virtual campaigning has been be allowed.

The SEC said that only five persons will be allowed for door-to-door campaigning, there will be no victory rallies and only vaccinated and COVID-19 negative people will be allowed inside counting centres.

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