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SEC Held Talks With Political Parties

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of three-tier Panchayat elections, the State Election Commission (SEC) held a meeting with the representatives of all political parties of the State on Saturday.

State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhi chaired the all-party meeting to discuss the details about alcohol ban prior to the election, extension of the panchayat poll timings, final voter list, ceilings on expenditures, central counting and other issues.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Mr.Padhi said many of the political parties have suggested banning liquor seven days ahead of the election.

The voters who attained the age of 18 years on or before November 1, 2021, will be eligible to cast their vote during the panchayat election.

The final voters’ list will be prepared before the ensuing election without any mistakes. The Electors Photo Identification Card (EPIC) id number of the voters will be added along with their names to the list, said the SEC.

A detailed discussion on extension of the polling time was discussed during the meeting. Usually the voting time was from 7 am to 12 pm. At this time, there will be a central counting at the block-level instead of booth level counting on the same day, the political parties have proposed to extend the timing, he said.  

Discussion on enhancing the limitation on election expenditure by the candidates was also held today, he said.

Many political parties have proposed to increase the election expenditure of Sarpanch and Samiti member candidates from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2,00,000. It has been proposed to increase the amount from Rs 2,00,000 to Rs 5,00,000 for Zilla Parishad candidates, said Mr.Padhi.

As many as 27 representatives from 18 political parties along with SEC officials have attended the meeting.