Preparations begin for 2nd phase elections in Odisha

Bargarh/Bolangir/Ganjam:  With the end of high-voltage campaigning for the 2nd phase polls today, polling officers and security personnel have begun preparations to ensure smooth conduct of the elections in the upcoming phase.

In the 2nd phase, polling will take place in Aska, Kandhamal, Sundergarh, Bargarh and Bolangir Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 Assembly constituencies under them. As per reports, all the polling staff will reach the booths by today night and begin arrangements.

“This is my first duty at a polling centre. I am very happy that ladies are being appointed for this work,” said a lady polling official in Bonai.

Another polling staff from Phulbani, Pravat Chandra Sualsingh said, “We will make arrangements as per the training we have been imparted and ensure that everything goes on smoothly.”

In the 2nd phase polls, there are 35 MP and 244 MLA candidates who will contest the elections. The total number of voters in the upcoming phase is 76,93,123 of which 39,45,025 are male, 37,47,493 are female and 605 are from the third gender.

The total number of booths is 9,117 of which 1,926 booths have been identified as sensitive. Amid Maoist threat in Bolangir, Bargarh and Kandhamal, security arrangements have been heightened to ensure smooth conduct of polls.

“Some areas are Maoist-affected so we are conducting anti-naxal operations and flag march,” said Kabita Kalan, DIG Western range.

Sub-collector of Berhampur, Digant Routray said, “Tomorrow staffers will see their booth arrangements and on the day of polling, a mock poll will be done before actual polling.”

SDPO of Patnagarh, Suresh Nayak, said, “Different security units like CRPF have been deployed in different Maoist-affected areas ahead of the polls.”