Bhubaneswar, Apr 16 UNI | 4 months ago

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who has already set a hattrick by ruling Odisha for third time in a row, is now eyeing on fourth consecutive time as a record 1.55 crore voters will exercise their franchise tomorrow in the second and final phase of elections in the state.

Tomorrow's election will decide the fate of 845 candidates, 98 of them contesting the 11 Lok Sabha and rest 747 for 77 Assembly seats spread over 13 districts.

Election authorities have made elaborate security arrangements for smooth conduct of the elections which would start from 0700 hrs and end at 1800 hrs.

Alongwith the second phase poll, repolling will be held in 22 booths from 0700 hours to 1500 hours where polling was disrupted due to snatching and burning of EVM machines by Maoists and other disturbances.

Chief Electoral Office (CEO) sources here said 406 companies of security forces, apart from 64 companies of central armed forces, would be deployed in the second phase polling in coastal and north Odisha, considered as politically sensitive.

Though none of the 13 districts going to polls tomorrow is Maoist-dominated, still their presence was felt in certain pockets of Keonjhar, Mayurbhanja and Jajpur.

The election authorities have mobilised additional forces in these areas to make the election incident free.

The authorities have also identified 2,270 booths as sensitive out of the total 18,692 polling stations and deployed 1.41 lakh employees to conduct the elections smoothly.

The Election authorities have planned webcasting in 329 polling booths and fix still and video cameras in 1460 booths to ensure a free and fair election.

Out of the 11 Parliamentary constituencies going to polls tomorrow, Kendrapada is the largest with an electorate of 15.31 lakh voters and Jajpur(SC) the smallest with 12.89 lakh electorate.

Similarly out of the 77 assembly constituencies, Bhubaneswar North is the biggest with 2.6 lakh voters and Palalahara the smallest with only 1.52 lakh voters.

The highest number of 24 candidates are in the fray for the Morda assembly constituency, followed by Ekram 20 and Rairangpur 17. The Aanadapur and Athagarha assembly seats have the lowest number of five candidates each.

Similarly hgihest number of 12 candidates will vie for the Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seat, followed by Balasore and Cuttack ten each.

The Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Puri Parliament constituencies have the lowest candidates of seven each.

As many as eight ministers, two Rajya Sabha members, four Odia filmstars and a host of former ministers are trying their luck in the hustings tomorrow.

The ministers contesting the election tomorrow are--Health and Family Welfare minister Damodar Rout,Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Pratap Keshari Deb,Tourism and Culture Minister Maheswar Mohanty,Urban Development Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Higher Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra,Steel and Mines Minister Rajani Kanta Singh, Engery Minister Arun Sahu and Forest and Environment Minister Bijay Shree Routray.

(Posted on 16-04-2014)