As many as 36,779 candidates contesting the three-tier panchayat polls in Odisha have been declared elected uncontested even as the three major political parties intensified their campaigns for the remaining posts.
A total of 36,779 candidates, including 36,222 contesting for the posts of ward members, have won the elections even before polling, State Election Commission (SEC) Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahu said on Saturday.
Of them, 209 won uncontested for the posts of sarpanch, 347 as samiti members and only one in Ganjam district for the zilla parishad post, he added.
The SEC office had notified a final list of 1,89,099 candidates who were in the poll fray after the withdrawal of nomination papers by candidates on January 21.
Meanwhile, the three major parties – the ruling BJD in the state, and opposition Congress and BJP – have intensified their campaigns for the five-phase panchayat polls starting February 13.
Odisha Congress chief Prasad Harichandan has started his campaign from Bhubaneswar, while Union minister Jual Oram is campaigning in Sundergarh district for the BJP candidates.
Senior Congress leader and former state unit chief of the party Niranjan Patnaik has been busy campaigning in his native Keonjhar district.
The MLAs of all the parties too have started campaigning.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan will soon start campaigning, their respective parties said.