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SEC Favors Safe Poll Conduct

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Saturday held a discussion with the State Government officials for safe conduct of the three-tier Panchayat election keeping the prevailing Covid-19 situation in mind.

The high-level meeting was held under the chairmanship of State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhi and attended by Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RK Sharma and other top officials.

 “The State Government gave a presentation on the present Covid situation in Odisha. A detailed discussion was held on how the safety of the voters, representatives of political parties and polling officials can be maintained during the elections,” Pahi told reporters after the meeting.

SRC Pradeep Jena said the SEC was briefed about the present Covid-19 situation in Odisha. The Commission will take the final decision on ensuing panchayat polls after analyzing the Covid situation, said Mr.Jena.

“They also discussed the planning required for the initiation and completion of the booster dose administration to frontline and health workers,” he added.

Meanwhile, the State Government has notified the final list of reservations for the post of Zilla Parishad Chairperson in all the 30 districts.

As per a notification issued by the Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department, 12 seats have been for SC and ST categories. As many as 7 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates while five seats are reserved for SC candidates.

The Government has reserved the ZP Chief post in Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Boudh and Bhadrak districts for the SC category while ST persons to lead the ZPs in Kandhamal, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Mayurbhanj, Malkangiri, Rayagada, and Sundargarh districts.

Similarly, Zilla Parishad Chief posts of other 18 districts have been put under unreserved category.

Moreover, the State Government has reserved 50 per cent of all ZP chief posts for women candidates. The districts are—Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Koraput, Khurda, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Dhenkanal, Nuapada, Puri, Bolangir, Boudh, Malkangiri, Jajpur, Rayagada and Sambalpur.