Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 1:
As per the directive of the Election Commission of India, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has cancelled the Dussehra puja vacation for Odisha government employees of four districts engaged in the Kandhamal Lok Sabha by-election scheduled on October 15.
Announcing this at a press briefing here on Tuesday, chief electoral officer (CEO) Dr Mona Sharma said the SEC had completed all preparatory measures.
Apart from government employees of Kandhamal district, the puja vacation of staff in Ganjam, Nayagarh and Boudh districts engaged in the by-election has also been cancelled as some of the booths come under Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency. In a letter, the CEO has asked the collectors of these districts to carry out the order with immediate effect.
Besides, the CEO has also asked the collectors to keep these employees on high alert in the event of any untoward incident, Sharma said.
A total of 6, 080 government employees have been engaged for the by-election to be held in a total of 1497 booths. Training of these employees, who have been deployed in the booths, has started, she added.
Stating that 2, 000 electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been arranged for the by-election, the CEO said these EVMs would be commissioned on October 6 and 7.
To ensure law and order during the by-poll, flying squads and surveillance teams have already been deployed in all polling booths of the constituency, she said, adding that a poll observer from outside the state, who has arrived in the state to oversee the poll proceedings, would be accompanied by three senior OAS officers.
On the issue of Maoist threat in Nayagarh, Ganjam, Boudh and Phulbani districts during the by-poll, Sharma said that while there are adequate numbers of security personnel deployed in these districts, more Central forces would be deployed if the need arises.
Underscoring the need for video recording of polling in the polling booths located in the remote areas, the CEO said that work is underway to identify sensitive booths on the basis of the reports of the concerned district collectors.