Over 61 % of 94.4 lakh voters cast their votes in Odisha - Hindustan Times
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Over 61 % of 94.4 lakh voters cast their votes in Odisha

ByDebabrata Mohanty
May 26, 2024 02:02 PM IST

Six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly constituencies went to polls in Odisha on Saturday. The soaring humidity led to a 10 % drop in voting percentage compared to 2019 polls

Amid stray incidents of violence, 61.71 % of the 94.48 lakh voters in Odisha cast their vote in six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly constituencies of the state on Saturday.

Voters wait in queues to cast their vote for the elections in Odisha on Saturday. (CEOodisha - X)
Voters wait in queues to cast their vote for the elections in Odisha on Saturday. (CEOodisha - X)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Khordha MLA candidate Prasanta Jagadev was detained by police for allegedly vandalising an electronic voting machine (EVM) and beating a presiding officer. Jagadev allegedly barged into polling booth no. 114 of Kaunriapatna near Rajsunakhala under Bolagarh-Begunia assembly constituency while voting was underway. Odisha chief electoral officer Nikunja Dhal said a first information report (FIR) has been registered against Jagdev.

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Dhal said three persons, including a presiding officer, a voter and a polling agent of the BJP died during polling. A lady Polling officer identified as Sujata Mitra posted at the polling booth number 114 of Hadibandhu school in Cuttack fell sick during duty hour. She was rushed to the SCB Medical College and Hospital where she succumbed to her illness.

Sukadeb Patnaik, engaged as the polling agent of the BJP at Booth No.136 at Bahalunda village under Hindol Assembly constituency of Dhenkanal Lok Sabha constituency fell ill when the voting was underway. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors declared him dead.

Kumudini Dalei of Patharpunji village under Baghuapalli panchayat in Bhapur block of Nayagarh district succumbed to heatstroke while she was waiting in a queue to vote. Dalei started sweating and then collapsed. She was immediately rushed to Khandapada hospital, but doctors declared her dead.

The soaring humidity led to a 10 % drop in voting percentage compared to 2019 in the six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly constituencies that went to polls on Saturday. The six Lok Sabha constituencies are Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. In the 2019 election, 71.82 % of the voters in these six constituencies had voted.

In the sixth phase of polling, 64 candidates in Lok Sabha and 383 candidates in Assembly were in the fray.

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan is pitted against BJD’s Pranab Prakash Das in Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat. Pradhan is contesting Lok Sabha election for the first time after he lost the Assembly election from Pallahara in 2009. After that he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Bihar and then Madhya Pradesh.

In Bhubaneswar, former bureaucrat and BJP’s national spokesperson Aparajita Sarangi is seeking re-election as she is in a close contest against Manmath Routray, a former commercial pilot.

In Puri, BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra is fighting former commissioner of Mumbai Police, Arup Patnaik.

Around 35,000 personnel including 121 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CRPF) were deployed to ensure law and order for the polls on Saturday.

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