Curtains down on campaign trail for third phase elections in Odisha

Six Lok Sabha seats and 42 Assembly segments to go to polls on May 25.
Representative Image of Election campaign
Representative Image of Election campaign

BHUBANESWAR: The high-pitched campaign for the crucial third phase polls in Odisha came to a close on Thursday.

Six Lok Sabha seats - Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal - and 42 Assembly segments under them will go to polls on Saturday. A total 64 MP candidates and 383 MLA candidates are in the fray.

This round will see many big fights including the contest between Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJD organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das. In Puri, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra has locked horns with BJD’s Arup Patnaik, a former Mumbai police commissioner.

In Cuttack, while six-time MP Bhartruhari Mahtab is contesting on a BJP ticket, the BJD has given ticket to corporate leader Santrupt Misra and Congress has fielded Suresh Mohapatra. This apart, BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi, Jatni MLA Suresh Routray’s son Manmath of BJD and Congress candidate Yasir Nawaz will also be testing their luck in Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituency.

Elaborate arrangements has been made by the Election Commission to ensure peaceful voting and maximum voter turnout in the polls. Chief electoral officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal said a total of 94.48 lakh voters including 48.29 lakh men and 46.17 lakh women will exercise their franchise in this phase. About 2.37 lakh of them are first-time voters, he said. The CEO said voting in this phase will take place in 10,551 polling stations of which 2,000 will be model polling stations, while 1,500 will be all women-managed booths. 

Over 70,000 polling staff will be deployed for election management in the phase in which around 20 per cent, approximately 2,000 booths have been identified as critical.

Keeping in view the situation, 121 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) along with state armed police will be deployed for smooth voting in this phase. There will also be adequate provision of security in places including Ghasipura where pre-poll violence has surfaced, Dhal said.

Considering the number of critical booths and LWE history of a few pockets, voting time has been revised to 4 pm in 524 polling stations and 5 pm in 338 polling stations, the CEO informed.

Though there is no forecast of heatwave, adequate provision of shed, drinking water etc., will be made while para-medical staff engaged as part of effective poll management. While polling teams were mobilised, non-voters and outsiders were asked by the Election Commission to leave the six Lok Sabha constituencies and their Assembly segments going to polls in this phase.

Third phase

  •  64 MP, 383 MLA candidates

  •  94.48L voters including 2.37L first-timers

  •  Voting to take place in 10,551 polling stations

  •  2,000 booths marked critical

  •  121 companies of CAPF and SAP deployed

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