BHUBANESWAR, MARCH 10
Odisha will go to simultaneous polls for both the Lok Sabha and State Assembly in four phases beginning from April 11, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said today.
Stating that the polling will be held in four phases in the state on April 11, 18, 23 and 29, Kumar said preparations for the ensuring elections are almost complete.
While polling will be held in four Lok Sabha segments and 28 assembly seats on April 11, the next date on April 18 will witness voting in five Lok Sabha segments and 35 assembly seats under its jurisdiction.
Similarly the third and fourth phase of polling will be held on April 23 and April 29 when voters in six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly segments each will franchise their democratic rights.
Stating that the model code of conduct has come into force immediately with announcement of poll dates, Kumar said notification for the first phase will be made on March 18 and March 19 is the date for the second phase notification.
Similarly, notification for third and fourth phase will be made on March 28 and April 2 respectively. The counting of votes will be done on May 23, 2019 in Odisha and across the country.
While polling will be held in Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur and Koraput Lok Sabha segments and assembly seats under their jurisdiction on April 11 on first phase, voters in Bargarh, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal and Aska Lok Sabha seats and assembly segments under them will franchise their rights in second phase on April 18, said an official.
Similarly, the third phase of polling will be held in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha segments and assembly constituencies under them on April 23, he said.
The fourth and last phase of polling will be held in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha segments and assembly constituencies under them on April 29.
Replying a question, Kumar said polling will be held for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats. While polling were held in two phases in 2014 elections, this time it would be in four phases.
He said the reason of four phase polling is made keeping in view the security arrangements. “We are prepared and committed for a free, fair, accessible and peaceful polling,” Kumar said.
Kumar said adequate security arrangement will be made in Maoist affected areas of the State where simultaneously polling will be held. The polling in other Maoist affected regions of adjoining states will also be held on the same date.
The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed in the Maoist hit areas in Odisha and adjoining states for smooth conduct of polling.
Kumar said the state chief secretary and other departments have been categorically told to strictly follow the model code of conduct which came into effect from the time of polling dates are announced.
He said all the departments have 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 immediately.
“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 140 percent VVPAT machines will be given to the State,” Kumar said.
According to the final voter list issued on January 21, Kumar said there are 3.18 crore voters in the state and polling to be held in 37,606 booths across the state. However, Kumar said the number of voters may increase are people are allowed for addition and deduction from the list.
The state has a total of 21 Lok Sabha segments and 147 Assembly seats where polling will be held in four phases, Kumar said adding that Odisha has been identified as the second place in the country after Puducherry where maximum number of voters with physical disability have been enrolled in the voters’ list.