Pradeep Pattanayak

All arrangements for the third phase elections in Odisha were at their final stages. Around 35,000 security personnel including 121 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and 106 platoons of Odisha Armed Police and 19,865 police personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling. 

In the third phase, six parliamentary constituencies including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Puri and Sambalpur and the 42 Assembly seats coming under them will go to polls tomorrow. 

Security Arrangements 

A total of 10,551 booths have been set up. Of them, 20 per cent of booths have been identified as sensitive booths. 

For Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Khordha and Cuttack, four IPS officers will be mobilised. As many as 763 mobile patrolling teams will be in operation. Similarly, there will be an additional SP in charge of each Assembly constituency. Paramilitary forces have been deployed at the sensitive booths. 

As per the direction of the Election Commission of India, 331 flying squads have been kept ready. This apart, 343 static surveillance teams are doing rounds. 

Also Read: Odisha Elections 2024: Union Minister Smriti Irani to visit Odisha tomorrow

“About 70,000 polling staff have been engaged to conduct the elections. If any government employee, CRP or any other para worker is found involved in campaigning for any political candidate, they will be either suspended or removed,” said Chief Electoral Officer, Nikunja Bihari Dhal. 

“For the smooth conduct of the elections, 35,000 security personnel have been engaged. This apart, we have deployed more central forces at the sensitive booths,” said Arun Sarangi, DGP, Odisha. 

As many as 64 MP candidates and 383 Assembly candidates are in the fray and a total of 94,48,000 voters will decide their fates. 

High Voltage Fight 

In this phase, high-octane fights can be expected in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and Sambalpur Lok Sabha seats. 

While BJP’s Aparajita Sarangi is contesting against BJD’s candidate and Congress leader Suresh Routray’s son Manmath Routray in Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur is witnessing a fight between Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJD’s Pranab Prakash Das. In Puri, BJP’s Sambit Patra and BJD’s Arup Patnaik and in Cuttack, BJP’s Bhartruhari Mahtab and BJD’s Santrupt Mishra have locked horns. 

Similarly, all eyes will be on Jayanarayan Mishra, Arun Sahu, Sanjay Dasburma, Prashant Jagdev, Badri Narayan Patra, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Jeyedev Jena, Sofia Firdous and Upasana Mohapatra, who are in the fray for the Assembly seats. 

“Tomorrow, it will be clear to some extent that which party is going to form the government,” said political analyst Rabi Das.

Timings for voting 

While polling in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar Parliamentary constituencies will start at 7 AM and continue till 6 PM, voting in Kuchinda under the Sambalpur Parliamentary constituency will begin at 7 AM and continue till 4 PM. Similarly, polling in Rairakhol will be held till 4 PM. In the Deogarh Assembly constituency, voters will exercise their franchise from 7 AM to 5 PM.

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