The three-tier panchayat polls in Odisha began Monday amid cases of poll violence reported in different parts of the state. The state is scheduled to hold the Panchayat elections in five phases between February 13 and February 21. The timing of polling is 7 am to 12:00 pm. On polling days, counting of votes starts from 1 pm till the completion. The first phase polling was held in 188 Zilla Parishad seats spread over 65 blocks in 29 districts where 716 candidates contested.
Gram Panchayat Elections in State of Odisha in Year 2017:
Panchayat Election Posts:
Sarpanch, Panch, Ward Members, Zila Parishad Members and Others
Total number of seats:
The State Election Commission (SEC) had in December announced the dates for elections to the Panchayati Raj bodies. Elections are to be held for 853 zilla parishad members, 6,802 sarpanches, 6,801 panchayat samiti members and 92,052 ward members. Half the seats have been reserved for women.
First phase: February 13
Second Phase: February 15
Third phase: February 17
Fourth phase: February 19
Fifth phase: February 21
The three major political parties contesting the panchayat polls in Odisha are BJP, Congress and the ruling BJD.
Number of Eligible Voters
At least 2.6 Crore people will vote in the ongoing odisha panchayat elections.
First phase results:
Despite the ruling BJD deploying a huge line-up of filmstars for a month-long campaign, opposition BJP posted stunning results in the first phase of panchayat polls, winning or leading in at least 68 of the 188 zilla parishad seats. BJD, meanwhile, managed an impressive show in nearly 100 seats. The BJP, which won just 36 of the total 854 zilla parishad seats in the 2012 panchayat polls, seems set to do better with four more rounds of polling remaining till February 19. 71 per cent of the 58,28,446 voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of polls.
The zilla parishad seats are contested on party symbols. Although BJD was expected to do well, BJP sprang a surprise, sweeping the zilla parishad election in Mayurbhanj, Bargarh and Kalahandi districts. It is likely to replace the Congress as the Number 2 party in phase one. Congress won around 20 zilla parishad seats.
Expenditure limits for candidates had been raised earlier, according to which a person running for the zilla parishad could spend up to Rs 2 lakh, while the limit for a sarpanch or samiti candidate was set to Rs 80,000.
Candidates filed their nominations from January 11 to 17 and the papers were verified on January 18.