Polling for 4 LS, 28 Assly seats held peacefully

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Polling for 4 LS, 28 Assly seats held peacefully

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 | NAlINI SAHU | BHUBANESWAR

The first phase of polling in Odisha for four Parliamentary constituencies and 28 Assembly seats passed off peacefully except a few incidents of violence in Ganjam and Nabarangpur districts.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), 63.85% of voters exercised their franchise by 6 pm. The figure was most likely to go up significantly after the final computation.

The ECI, meanwhile, found evidence of dereliction of duty by three Presiding Officers, two in Chhatrapur and one in Gopalpur Assembly constituencies in Ganjam district, and suspended them.

According to State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Dhal, arrest orders against two of the suspended Presiding Officers were issued for “serious dereliction” of duty.

The CEO did not elaborate the nature of “dereliction of duty” of the two officers. Sources said they were forcing voters to cast their ballots for the candidates of a particular party.

The four Lok Sabha constituencies which went into the polls were Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Brahmapur.

The major candidates who are in the LS fray include Koraput’s Congress Lok Sabha member Saptagiri Ulaka, Pradeep Majhi of BJD (Nabarangpur) and Malavika Devi of BJP (Kalahandi seat).

Despite being a sensitive area in Maoist-infested Sunabeda sanctuary, the Katingpani booth coming under the Nuapada Assembly constituency recorded 85% voter turnout. 

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