Himansu Shekhar Rout

The campaigning for the third phase of polling in Odisha slated on May 25 came to an end this evening. The polling will be held amid heavy security.

As per reports, a total of 94.8 lakh voters will decide the fate of 64 candidates in the six Lok Sabha seats and 383 candidates in the 42 Assembly seats in the state on May 25. 

All the 42 Assembly seats are under the Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Sambalpur, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar parliamentary segments.

All the six LS seats will see big fights as the electorate will decide the political fate of stalwarts like BJP’s Dharmendra Pradhan, Sambit Patra, Aparajita Sarangi, Bhartruhari Mahtab, Ananta Nayak, Rudranarayan Pani and BJD’s Pranab Prakash Das, Santrupt Mishra, Arup Patnaik, Manmath Routray, Congress’ Nagendra Pradhan and Yasir Nawaz. 

Of the total voters in this phase, youths account for 21 per cent while 3000 voters aged above 85 have already exercised their franchise from home. 

According to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Nikunja Kumar Dhal, polling will be held in 10,551 booths spread across all the six Lok Sabha seats and 20 per cent of the booths have been identified as sensitive. “About 2000 polling stations are model booths. The highest number of CAPF has been deployed for this phase of polling,” Dhal said.

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To ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the polling, elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for the polling in the third phase.

As many as 121 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been mobilised in these Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies. 

Seizures worth Rs 263.55 crore during the poll-related checking

On the other hand, during election-related checking, the total value of seizures of cash, liquor and valuable ornaments has been up to the tune of Rs 263.55 crore in the six Lok Sabha seats, he added.     

Sambalpur collector Akshay Sunil Agrawal said, "We have closed liquor shops. Booth preparation is already done with arrangements to tackle the heat wave.”

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