Voting underway for third phase of polling in Odisha, EVM snags delay process

by IANS |

Bhubaneswar, May 25 (IANS) Voting for the third phase is underway in Odisha in six parliamentary constituencies and 42 assembly segments amid technical glitches in Electronic Voting machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) leading to delays.

Addressing a press conference, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Nikunj Bihari Dhal said as many as 116 ballot units, 125 control units and 256 VVPATs have been replaced following technical glitches at some booths.

As per the Election Commission of India, Odisha has recorded around 21.30 percent voter turnout till 11 a.m.

CEO Dhal said that youths and elderly persons are more in number at the polling booths.

He also said that the State Election Commission officials are keeping a vigil on more than 6,200 polling booths through webcasting.

Voting is underway at 10,551 polling booths across the state.

More than 94.48 lakh voters in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituencies are expected to exercise their franchise.

A total 64 candidates are in fray for the six Lok Sabha seats while 383 candidates are contesting for 42 assembly segments.

Several high-profile leaders, including BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, senior BJP leaders Aparajita Sarangi, Bhartruhari Mahtab, ruling Biju Janata Dal leader and former corporate honcho Santrupt Mishra, are in the fray.

As many as 35,000 police personnel, including 121 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), 106 platoons of Special Armed Police force of Odisha Police and 19,865 civil police personnel have been deployed.

Around 20 per cent of the total 10,551 polling booths in the third phase of polling have been designated as critical booths.

Voting for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections is being held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from May 13 to June 1.

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