Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, April 8:
The Election Commission is ‘fully prepared’ to conduct the first phase polls for 10 Lok Sabha and 70 Assembly constituencies in Odisha ,says the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Dr Mona Sharma.
1.36 crore voters will cast their votes to decide the fate of the 771 candidates in the fray for the first phase.
“The polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm in the booths while it will be limited to 4 pm in Maoist affected areas. We have deployed adequate security personnel as most of the areas come under the Maoists affected areas,” said CEO Dr Mona Sharma.
While the Commission has identified 15% of the booths as sensitive, a total of 62 companies of security forces will be deployed in the areas that go to polls on Thursday. All the auxiliary forces have already reached in the state, she informed.
Aiming to conduct the election in a free and fair manner, Dr Sharma said neighbouring states have been asked to observe dry day so that liquor can not come from those states into Odisha.
“We have already written letters to the neighbouring states to observe dry day so that liquor can not be sold. Besides, adequate police personnel will be deployed at the border to check the transport of liquor,” said Sharma.
The Commission had earlier announced that no liquor will be sold two days before the polls. CCTV cameras have been installed at the liquor shops to check anti-social activites, she said.
The CEO claimed that the sale of liquor has decreased following the installation of CCTV cameras.
Meanwhile, the Commission has seized Rs 98 lakh unaccounted money from different sources so far and cases have been registered against accused persons.