Polling begins for 6 Lok Sabha constituencies, 42 assembly seats in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, May 25 (PTI) Polling began on Saturday morning for six Lok Sabha constituencies and 42 assembly seats in Odisha amid tight security arrangements, an official said.

Voting started at 7 am in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri Lok Sabha seats along with 42 assembly segments that make up these Lok Sabha constituencies.

Polling will continue till 6 pm but in certain remote and critical booths voting will conclude earlier, the official said.

More than 94.48 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 10,581 booths in the third round of simultaneous elections in the state.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) NB Dhal said that adequate arrangements for voters’ convenience have been made in all booths.

A total of 35,000 security personnel and 70,000 polling personnel have been engaged in this round of twin polls in the state, he said.

Sixty-four candidates are vying for the six Lok Sabha seats and 383 contestants for the 42 assembly segments, he added.

Altogether 1,500 booths will be manned by women personnel while persons with disability are operating 30 booths, Dhal said, adding that though there is no heat wave warning, the IMD has forecast hot and humid weather conditions on Saturday.

The prominent leaders whose fate is to be decided in this phase include Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJD organisational secretary and MLA Pranab Prakash Das and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.

Four Odisha ministers — Prafulla Mallick, RP Swain, Ashok Panda and Basanti Hembram — are also in the fray, while Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Jaynarayan Mishra, and sitting MPs Bhartruhari Mahtab and Aparajita Sarangi, are also contesting the polls.

DGP Arun Kumar Sarangi said special attention has been given to around 2,000 critical booths.

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