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State Ready For Urban Poll

Bhubaneswar: As the State Election Commission (SEC) is all set to hold polling for the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) on Thursday, the Odisha Police have deployed as many as 205 platoons of force to man the elections.

SEC Aditya Prasad Padhi took stock of deployment of Police Forces across the State.

While 100 platoons (1 platoon comprises 20 personnel) are deployed in 106 ULBs, another 105 platoons will man the elections in three municipal corporation areas like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur. Polling will be conducted in 1731 wards consisting of 3068 numbers of booths in 106 ULBs.

Similarly, 105 platoons force and 110 mobile patrolling parties along with police officers/ men have been deployed for three Municipal Corporations (BMC, CMC, BeMC) for smooth conduct of elections. Total 168 numbers of wards will go for poll consisting of 1407 number of booths in three Municipal corporations.

Meanwhile, the police have seized 24,663 litres of liquor, 98 illegal arms, 3.444 kg of narcotic drugs during the special drive ahead of the elections. Odisha Police in a note said as many as 1377 excise cases have been registered and 480 pending warrants were executed during the election process so far.

SEC, A P Padhi said that all arrangements have been made for the elections. The district authorities and Commissioner of Police have been keeping strict vigil, he said while appealing people to cast their votes without any fear.

He said the polling parties have already reached the booths and polling will be conducted from 8 AM to 5 PM on Thursday.

Over 40.555 lakh people will exercise their franchise on Thursday, Padhi said, adding that proper security arrangements have also been made in different strong rooms throughout the urban areas with CCTV coverage to ensure round the clock safety of EVMs, the police said.

As many as 6,411 candidates are in the fray for election. 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.

As many as 22,000 personnel will be engaged in the polling. Each booth will have one presiding officer and four polling officers.

The Mayors and Chairpersons this time will be directly elected by the people following amendments in the municipal laws.