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Elections in Maoist areas: SEC to decide post Jan 21

SEC

Bhubaneswar: The threats by Maoists to villagers in many areas to avoid Panchayat elections in the state has led to confusion among poll officials. The State Election Commission (SEC) has said it will take a decision regarding conducting elections in these areas after January 21.

The Commission today said it has sought reports from collectors and SPs of cutoff areas to take a decision. Specially, after the abduction of poll officials in the cut off areas of Panasput, Jantri, Andrapalli, Jodamba, Gajamudi of Chitrakonda Zilla Parishad zone 2, the impact of Maoists in interiors is clearly evident.

SEC secretary Rabindranath Sahu said as per the laws of election, if there are no nominations filed by the the stipulated date, another date can be finalised to give candidates a chance. “In cases where all nominations are rejected or withdrawn then also the Commission can come up with another deadline for nominations and we might come up with another date not just for Malkangiri but any region where there are issues,” he said.

Since the nominations filing will conclude on Tuesday, any decision will be taken thereafter. Also, the reports from Malkangiri collector and SP have reached the Commission, he said.

So far, in the newly formed Chitrakonda block that has 18 panchayats, in its seven panchayats in cut off areas, no nominations have been filed yet.

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