Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: With the model code of conduct coming into effect after the announcement of the 2019 general poll dates, the Odisha Income Tax (IT) department and the State Police have geared up to ensure free and fair elections across the State beginning April 11.

The IT department has set up a 24X7 functional control room at Ayakar Bhawan in Bhubaneswar and issued a toll free number - 1800 345 7160 through which people can lodge poll-related income tax complaints and information related to unaccounted cash flow during or before the elections.

All the District Collectors have been asked to extensively publicise the newly implemented facility in the IT department.

Similarly, the Odisha Police on Monday held a meeting at the department Headquarters in Cuttack and discussed the preparedness and security arrangements for the upcoming general elections in the State.

With elections dates already declared, Prime Minister, Union Ministers, leaders from various political parties and other eminent personalities are likely to visit the State. So, their safety and security will be the foremost concern of the State Police department.

The high-level meeting chaired by DGP RP Sharma and attended by Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty, IGs, DIGs, DCPs, SPs of all the districts, officials of Intelligence and Special Protection Group (SPG) discussed on the guidelines and SOPs to be focussed and implemented while providing security cover to VVIPs visiting the State.

Odisha will go to simultaneous polls in four phases starting April 11, 2019. The next three phases of elections will be conducted on April 18, 23 and 29. The counting of votes for all the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies will be done on May 23.