Bhubaneswar: The first phase of 2017 Panchayat elections kicks off from Monday when 58, 28,446 voters will cast their choice in polls for posts of Zilla Parishad, Panchyat Samiti, Sarpanch and Ward Members.
The elections will be held across 188 zilla parishad zones under which 1506 Gram Panchayat and 20,369 wards will also witness polling of votes.
As many as 716 candidates will test their mettle for 188 zilla parishad posts. During the first phase out of the total Mayurbhanj has the highest number of candidates vying for zilla parishad with 72 followed by Ganjam at 50 candidates, 47 candidates in Cuttack, 41 in Keonjhar and 40 in Sundergarh.
Kandhamal and Sonepur have 6 candidates to contest for parishad while Nuapada and Gajpati have 9 candidates. Dhenkanal has only 10 zilla parishad candidates who will undergo people’s test.