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All Set For Urban Poll

Bhubaneswar: The State Election Commission (SEC) has made elaborate arrangements for the General Election to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the State.  

Aditya Prasad Padhi, State Election Commissioner reviewed arrangements with senior officers of SEC here on 21 March.

The election to 109 ULBs including three Municipal Corporations, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack & Berhampur is scheduled to be held on March 24 while results will be declared on March 26.

Speaking about arrangements made for the poll, State Election Commissioner Aditya Prasad Padhi said 6,411 candidates have remained in the fray for election. While 569 candidates have remained in the battle field for the post of chairperson and mayor, 5,842 candidates are there for the election to councillor and corporator seat.

The election will be held at 1672 wards in 106 Municipalities and NACs and 165 wards in three Corporations. Over 40.55 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in the election for which voting will be done in between 8 AM to 5 PM, Mr.Padhi said.

The voters will cast their votes in 2,989 booths in 106 Municipalities and NACs and 1384 booths in three Corporations, he informed.

The State Election Commissioner further said three corporators of BeMC and 58 councillors of different NACs and Municipalities have been elected unopposed. Besides, no candidate has filed nomination for the post of councillor in one ward in each of Pattamundai Municipality, Kamakhyanagar NAC and Purushottampur NAC. As per norms, the State Government can nominate persons for the vacant posts, he said.

There are 16 candidates in the race for the post of Mayor in CMC and Chairperson in Baripada Municipality whereas 18 candidates are in fray for the Jeypore Municipality Chairman post. Two ballot units will be given in all booths in these ULBs, said Mr.Padhi.

Two EVMs will be used in each booth- one to elect Mayor/Chairperson and another for Corporators and Councillors. For the first time, there will be a none-of-the-above (NOTA) option for voters in the EVMs.

One presiding officer and four polling officers will be engaged in each booth. In total, 22,000 polling officials will be deployed and they will reach their respective polling booths by March 23 afternoon, he said.

Mr.Padhi said elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure smooth conduct of the elections. Total 195 platoons of police force will be deployed for the poll, of which 30 platoons of force will be deployed in Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), 20 platoons for Cuttack Municipal Corporation and 10 platoons for Berhampur Municipal Corporations.

Besides, 300 mobile parties will also be engaged. Out of the 300 parties, 109 units will be deployed in the three corporation towns during the election, the Commissioner said.

He further informed that one constable/havildar/armed police will be deployed in each booth. However, for sensitive/hypersensitive booths, one constable/havildar along with one armed police personnel will be engaged. Apart from this, 1/4th force led by a police officer will be there to guard one cluster booth.