Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday announced dates for panchayat polls in Odisha.
The panchayat polls, which has been scheduled in five phases, will begin on February 13, 2017, and end on February 21, said a release.
With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct came into effect in the state from Tuesday. It will be in force until the end of the last phase of the poll, it said.
"The aspiring candidates can file nominations between January 11 and 17 next year. The papers will be scrutinised on January 18 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is January 21," said State Election Commissioner R.N. Senapati.
The final list of contesting candidates will be declared on the same day.
The SEC has asked the district collectors to maintain law and order for smooth conduct of elections in their districts.
The elections will be held for the posts of 853 Zilla Parishad members, 6,802 Sarpanches, 6,801 Panchayat Samiti members and 92,052 ward members, in which 2,60,92,507 voters will exercise their franchise.
The state government has reserved 50 per cent seats for women candidates in the panchayat elections.