Over 67.51 lakh voters will decide the fate of 726 Zilla Parishad (ZP) candidates in the first phase of panchayat polls in Odisha to be held on Wednesday.
The three-tier panchayat elections in Odisha will be held in five phases — on February 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24.
Over 2.79 crore voters will exercise their franchise in 6,794 panchayats and 91,913 wards, State Election Commissioner A.P. Padhi said here on Tuesday.
The election will be held for the positions of ward member, sarpanch, panchayat samiti member and ZP member.
In the first phase of elections, 200 Zilla Parishad zones in 71 blocks in all the 30 districts will go to the polls.
Voting will be carried out at 22,379 wards and 1,669 panchayats across the state. As many as 67.51 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in the first phase, Padhi said.
As many as 13,785 booths have been identified as sensitive booths across Odisha, of which polling will be held at 3,357 booths in the first phase on Wednesday, he said.
Stating that security has been beefed up for the elections, Padhi said 225 platoons comprising 37,245 police personnel will be deployed to maintain law and order.
The polling will be held from 7 am to 1 pm and only voters whose names are mentioned in the ward-wise voters’ list will be allowed to exercise their franchise, he informed.
At the time of polling, each voter is required to produce an Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or any of the 13 other ID proofs approved by the State Election Commission.
As the elections are being held under Covid-19 restrictions, it is mandatory for the voters to wear masks and maintain social distance at the polling booths.
Covid positive voters will be allowed to cast their votes during the last hour of polling with strict adherence to Covid protocols, Padhi added.