BHUBANESWAR: The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday dispatched polling parties to six Lok Sabha constituencies which will go to polls in the third phase on Tuesday.
The EC directed all officials concerned including district election officers and returning officers to ensure there is no recurrence of cross-pairing of EVMs at the time of polling this time. “A total of 10,464 booths have been set up and around 68,000 polling personnel deployed for the third phase elections. Most of these officials left for their respective booths with EVMs and VVPATs this evening,” Joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for Odisha Raghuram R Iyer said.
He said CEO Surendra Kumar has asked all District Election Officers and Returning Officers to ensure that technical glitches are dealt with appropriately and there is no recurrence of cross-pairing of EVMs as was reported in the second phase as a result of which polling was disrupted in at least six booths. The CEO, who recommended the EC for re-polling in these booths, had also suspended 14 polling officials for dereliction of duty and negligence.
The polling officials have been imparted required training in this regard and have been advised to ensure there is no mishandling of the EVMs, the joint CEO said. The CEO, who convened a meeting with district election officers, also took stock of arrangements like water, chair, tent and other facilities at the booths.
Officials said in order to counter any possible violence and to maintain law and order during voting, SPs and administrative officials of the districts concerned have been asked to review the security plan and force deployment. Elections in the third phase will take place in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituencies and their 42 Assembly segments.
With only a day remaining for polls to these constituencies, high-voltage campaigning of political parties and candidates came to an end on Sunday evening. The Lok Sabha and Assembly candidates wrapped up their padayatras, door-to-door campaign, street corner meetings and public rallies. Earlier in the day, the EC had asked leaders of all political parties, other than those who are voters of the concerned Parliamentary and Assembly segments, to leave the areas by the evening as per provision of the Model Code of Conduct.