Odisha seeks draft election management plan from collectors

Bhubaneswar: Amid speculations of early and simultaneous elections in the country, Odisha government on Monday directed all the district collectors to submit draft election management plans by September 30, 2018.

While the first-level checking of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in all the districts across the State is already in progress, collectors are confident of submitting the draft plans by the end of this month.

“Our first-level checking is on and accordingly, route chart and vulnerability mapping will be done and a district election management plan will be prepared. We will complete the plan by the end of this month and send it for approval,” said Dhenkanal collector, Nikhil Pawan Kalyan adding that the approved-draft plan will be considered as the ‘Official District Election Management Plan.’

Similarly, Khurda collector, Nirmal Mishra said that most of the works related to preparation of the draft plan have been completed and it will be submitted at the right time.

Meanwhile, all the major political parties in the State (BJP, BJD and Congress) have shifted their focus to micro management of booths to strengthen their organisation and mobilise party workers.

While the BJP has high hopes on its micro-level booth management (‘Mo Booth Sabuthu Majboot’ programme) through constant engagement with the voters, the BJD has come up with a slew of plans like ward committees, WhatsApp groups and house tagging to strengthen its vote bank.

The reenergised Odisha Congress under the leadership of Niranjan Patnaik has also launched ‘Mo Booth Mo Gaurav’ campaign, parallel to BJP’s ‘Mo Booth Sabuthu Majboot’ programme, and hopes to dent the prospects of both the BJD and the BJP in upcoming polls.

On the other hand, the BJP has also adopted a T-20 formula for the booth level where every party worker is bestowed with the responsibility to reach out to at least 20 families and highlight the achievements of the Modi government.

“Our preparation is on for all the booths. 20 families is the target (under the T-20 formula); it may be increased and we expect good results out of it. Out of the 36,000 both in the State, we have already reached 22,000 booths and trying to strengthen our base in the rest too,” said Senior BJP leader and Union Minister, Jual Oram.

“The BJD is focusing on its ward committees, WhatsApp groups and house tagging. There will be no impact of any programmes of other parties,” said party spokesperson Sameer Das.

Senior Congress leader, Tara Prasad Bahinipati hailed the party’s ‘Mo Booth Mo Gaurav’ programme and said thousands of people are gathering at the meetings organised at the panchayat level.

“Such mass gathering at the panchayat level meetings proves that Congress will do wonders in the State in the upcoming general elections,” he added.