Elections 2019: Odisha to go to polls in 4 phases

Bhubaneswar: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha Surendra Kumar today informed that the State 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.

Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar today, the CEO said that elections will be conducted in a total of four and five Lok Sabha seats of Odisha in the first phase and second phase respectively, while elections for six Lok Sabha seats each will be conducted in the third and fourth phase.

While the first phase polls to Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in constituencies of Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur and Koraput will be held on April 11, the second phase elections will be held in Bargarh, Sundergarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska constituencies on April 18.

Similarly, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituencies will see the third phase elections on April 23, the last phase polls will be held in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur constituencies on April 29.

Surendra Kumar also informed that Maoist affected areas of the State will simultaneously go to polls along with Maoist affected regions of adjoining states so that Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) can be smoothly mobilized.

While Odisha had witnessed a two-phase poll during 2014 elections, this time the number of phases has been increased to four taking into account the threat of red rebels.

The counting of votes for all the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies will be done on May 23.

With the announcement of poll dates, the State government has been notified to strictly implement the model code of conduct with immediate effect. Every department has been directed to appoint their nodal officers to ensure that hoardings, banners, posters and photographs of political leaders which are not in accordance with the model code are removed within 24 hours.

“Transfer of any poll-related officials will not be entertained without the permission of the Election Commission. For the conduct of elections in Odisha, as many as 120 percent control units, 120 percent ballot units and 130 percent VVPAT machines will be given to the State,” said the CEO.