Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Mar 31:
The Election Commission is pulling out all stops for smooth conduct of the second phase of elections in Odisha for the Lok Sabha and Assembly. A total of 1.53 crore people are set to cast their votes for 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly constituencies in 49 thousand EVMs on April 17.
A total of 1.20 lakh employees have been engaged for the smooth conduct of the polls. Out of the 1.53 crore voters, 81.5 lakh are males and 72.35 lakh females. They will decide the fate of 747 candidates in Assembly and 98 candidates in Lok Sabha seats in 18,673 booths. 49 EVMs and 40,747 control units will be placed in these booths, said commission sources.
While 98 candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha seats, 11 women candidates are trying their luck in the second phase. The largest number of 12 candidates are contesting for the Dhenkanal Lok Sabha constituency.
The three major political parties Congress, BJP and BJD have fielded their candidates in all Lok Sabha seats while 14 Independent candidates and 51 candidates belonging to other political parties are also contesting the 11 Lok Sabha seats.
Similarly, the three major parties have fielded their candidates in all the 77 Assembly seats in which a total of 747 candidate, 62 of them women,s are in the fray.
BSP has fielded 54 candidates and CPI and CPIM have nominated 22 candidates. Besides, 168 Independent candidates and 272 candidates from other parties are contesting the polls.
Meanwhile, the election commission has extended the polling time in the second phase election by two hours. Polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm, sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said.