Odisha gears up for elections to civic bodies on Mar 24

Editor

Bhubaneswar, Mar 21 : As many as 40,55,053 voters will exercise their franchise in the elections for three M cipal Corporations, 47 M cipalities and 59 NACs in Odisha scheduled to be held on March 24 next. State Election Commission(SEC) sources here on Monday said while 569 candidates are contesting for s of Mayor/ Chairpersons, 5842 candidates are in the fray for s of Corporators/ Councillors. Elections would be held in 1672 wards in M cipality and NAC and 165 wards in three M cipal corporations- Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur. Necessary arrangements have been made for the voters to exercise their franchise in 2989 booths of M cipality/NAC and 1384 booths in three M cipal corporations. Candidates in three wards in Berhampur M cipal Corporation and 58 wards in other M cipalities and NACs in the state have been declared unopposed. Since no candidates have filed their nominations in one ward each in Pattamundai M cipality, Kamakhyanagar and Purusottampur NAC the state government will nominate candidates to these posts as per the law since these posts are of reserve category. In the elections, 16 candidates are in the fray each for of Mayor for the Cuttack M cipal Corporation and of Chairperson of Baripada M cipality. Similarly, 18 candidates are in the fray for of Jeypore M cipality Chairperson in the Koraput district. Two EVMs will be installed in each booth — one for electing Mayor/Chairperson and the other one for electing Councillor/ Corporators. Voting for the election will start at 8 AM on March 24 and will continue till 5 PM and the counting will be taken up on March 26. In total 22,000 polling officials will be deployed for the smooth conduct of the election. The campaigning for the election to the civic bodies will end at 5 PM on March 22 next. State Police have deployed 195 platoons of the police force for the smooth conduct of the election. While 30 platoons of the police force will be deployed for the election to the Bhubaneswar M cipal Corporation, 20 platoons will be deployed for Cuttack M cipal Corporation and 10 platoons for Berhampur M cipal Corporation. As many as 300 mobile parties would be on duty of which 109 would be deployed in three M cipal Corporations. One or two striking forces would also be deployed in every police station of the ULB going to elections. This apart one or two platoons of police forces would be kept ready in each district headquarter to meet any eventualities. There would be five border ceiling points. An Inspector and three officers would remain in charge of each border ceiling point and one-fourth force would be on round the clock duty. Odisha government has declared March 24, the polling day, as an official holiday for the employees of the state government offices and Executive magisterial courts (except Treasury and Sub Treasury) located within three M cipal Corporation areas and 106 M cipalities/NAC to enable the employees to cast their votes. BD DP KK RN

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