Bhubaneswar , Feb. 21 : Polling has begun for the fifth and final phase of three-tier Panchayat polls in 26 districts of Odisha.
Polling, which started at 7 am, will continue till noon. Counting of votes will commence after an hour of end of polling.
The official announcement of the names of the winning Ward Members and Sarpanches will be made on Thursday and Zilla Parishad members and Panchayat Samiti members on Saturday.
Security has been beefed up across the state for the final phase. About 2 crore 61 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise. Fifty percent of the seats are reserved for women.
Panchayat elections are held for 853 zilla parishad seats, 6 thousand 6 hundred 65 panchayat samitis seats, 6 thousand 8 hundred 1 Sarapanch and 92 thousand 29 ward member seats.
Meanwhile, re-polling was held amid tight security in several places where incidents of violence had been reported in the previous phases of the elections.
The fresh polling was held in Dhenkanal district's Bhuban, Puri's Krushnaprasad and Brahmagiri and Balliguda area and K Nuagaon block in Kandhamal district. Four blocks of Kirtanpur of Bhuban Zilla Parishad zone 3 in Dhenkanal district also went for re-polling.