Bhubaneswar: Much before the polling are held for the three-tire panchayat elections, The Governing BJD headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has clinched the first victory as the State Election Commission declared its candidate for a Zilla Parishad zone elected uncontested.
The SEC sources said that as many as 36,974 candidates were elected unopposed for different posts under Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The announcement was made Wednesday a day after the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers by candidates.
The SEC, Odisha, in a communication said: “Kalpana Pradhan(BJD) declared elected uncontested as Z.P Member, Zone No-2, Ambabhona Block in Bargarh District”.
Ms.Pradhan was the lone candidate for which she was declared elected uncontested and there will be no election in the Zilla Parishad Zone-2 in Bargarh district, the official said.
Therefore, the elections will now be held in 852 Zilla Parishad seats instead of 853 seats, he said adding that only Zilla Parishad members contest the elections with party symbols while the candidates for the post of ward member, sarpanch and panchayat samiti member fight polls in different symbols.
Similarly, the SEC announced a total of 36, 974 candidates have been declared elected uncontested out of 1,06,329 posts under the three tire Panchayati raj institution.
The uncontested posts included 1 of 853 ZP members, 126 of 6793 Sarpanch posts, 326 of 67693 Panchayat Samiti member and 36,523 of 91,890 ward member posts. About 39 per cent of the ward members have been elected uncontested.
As per the schedule of the SEC, the panchayat elections will be held in 5 phases in the state on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. The votes will be counted on February 26, 27 and 28 at block offices.
A total 2,79,35,525 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the panchayat elections in the state this time.
Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed the elections to Dhinkia Gram Panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district to next year. In a notification on Wednesday, the SEC stated that the elections to the posts of Sarpanch of Dhinkia panchayat and 23 ward members post will not be held now. Their elections will be held in 2023, the notification said.
The tenure of Dhinkia panchayat will be over in 2023 as elections were held in 2018 and not in 2017 with others due to law and order situation in wake of anti-displacement agitation against Posco.
Presently, the Dhinkia area is also undergoing the same situation as agitations are held opposing the proposed steel plant of JSW.
The poll panel on Tuesday issued a notification giving a second chance to candidates to file their nominations for Ward, Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samiti seats where nominations were not filed or all the nominations were rejected.
Over 4,000 posts don’t have candidates for Ward members, Sarpanchs and Samiti members.
The three-tier Panchayat elections in Odisha will be held in five phases starting from February 16, 2022. Voting will be held on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and February 24, 2022. The polling will begin at 7 am and continue till 1 pm.