EC ready for Odisha final phase polls; ‘special focus’ on Kendrapara: CEO

Bhubaneswar: All elaborate arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduction of the final phase polls in Odisha to be held on Monday.

A whopping around 72, 363 personnel were deployed in poll duty in 10, 792 booths spread across eight districts, six Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies and 41 Assembly Constituencies, where polling will be held tomorrow.

Addressing the media persons over poll preparedness for Monday polls, CEO Surendra Kumar informed that nearly 3,092 polling stations have been identified as critical. The EC has positioned adequate CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) in the polling stations, he added.

Meanwhile, as Kendrapara LS constituency has turned the political epicentre in 2019 elections and when BJP has demanded more CAPFs fearing violence and poll rigging, Kumar said more CAPFs are deployed in the LS. He also added that necessary action will be initiated, if anyone not having voter I-card of Kendrapara was found after 5 PM yesterday.

The EC has for the first time set up four polling stations in the final phase polls, which were manned by Persons with Disabilities (PwD). Around 1.86 lakh PwD voters are to exercise their franchise in the final phase polls. The Commission has provisioned wheel chairs in 6,578 polling stations and positioned around 21, 628 volunteers to take care of the needs of Divyang voters. Moreover, nearly 4,959 vehicles were arranged for transporting PwD voters to booths and vice versa.

Though the final phase polls in State would see around 105 polling stations manned by women, contesting women candidates in the fourth phase polls range from around 10 – 23 per cent only.

The six LS constituencies have 52 contestants and 12 are women among them, which is 23 per cent of total contestants. In assembly polls, of a total of 336 contestants, women candidates are mere 34, which is mere ten per cent of total contestants.

A total of 95.06 lakh voters are expected to cast their votes in the final phase polls in Odisha. The female voters number at around 45.09 lakh and male voters total at over 49.17 lakh. Around 595 voters are transgender, revealed the EC data. And around 15,450 voters are service electors, means voters belonging to Armed Forces.

The EC has also installed CCTV in 554 polling stations. It has appointed 595 micro observers and around 1,216 vehicles were fitted with GPS system to track the movement of reserve EVMs they are transporting.

Kendrapara Sub-collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra said adequate arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful, free and fair conduct of polls in the constituency.

“We are giving most importance to sensitive booths where adequate arrangements like webcasting have been made. This apart, micro observers will also be mobilised during the polling. Sector police officers have been directed to intensify their surveillance at all the designated booths,” Mishra said.