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Poll For 6794 Gram Panchayats

Bhubaneswar: The forthcoming Panchayat Polls scheduled next year will be held in 6,794 Gram Panchayats (GPs) across the State whereas the election was held in 6,801 GPs in 2017.

Speaking to reporters here, State Election Commission (SEC) Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu Tuesday said the ensuing Panchayat Polls will not be held in seven Panchayats this time as they have been included in NACs.

The seven GPs include four from Remuna in Balasore, two from Odanga in Nayagarh and one from Bijepur in Bargarh district, he said.

Similarly, the number of wards has also been reduced by elimination of 111 wards due to the merger, Mr.Sahu said.

The three-tier panchayat polls this time will be held in total 91,916 wards, excluding 111 wards. In 2017, the elections were held in 92,027 wards, the Secretary said.

Further, he informed that a total of 49,469 ward member seats have been reserved for women, 12,031 have been reserved for candidates belonging to the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).

Similarly, 3,500 Sarpanch seats have been reserved for women while 778 seats are reserved for OBC from the total 6,794 seats. Moreover, out of 6793 Panchayat Samiti member seats, 3538 seats will be reserved for women and 913 seats for OBCs.

Earlier, the SEC has enhanced the election expenditure of candidates. As per the order, candidates contesting for Zilla Parishad member can spend up to Rs 5 lakh, the limit for expenses for Panchayat Samiti Member candidate and Sarpanch has been increased to Rs 2 lakh.

Similarly, Zilla Parishad member candidates can use five jeeps or cars and 10 bikes for campaigning while Panchayat Samiti member candidates are allowed to use two jeeps or cars and five bikes. Sarpanch candidates are allowed to use two jeeps or cars and five bikes.