Over 48% of 94.4 lakh electors cast their votes in 6th phase in Odisha | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Over 48% of 94.4 lakh electors cast their votes in 6th phase in Odisha

May 25, 2024 05:06 PM IST

The six Lok Sabha constituencies where polls are being held in the sixth phase are Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack

Bhubaneshwar: Despite the oppressive heat and soaring humidity sweeping the state, by 3pm, 48.44% of the 9.448 million (94.4 lakh) voters in six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly constituencies of Odisha came out to vote to decide the electoral fate of candidates in the fray. Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha. 

In the sixth phase of polling, 64 candidates in Lok Sabha and 383 candidates in Assembly are in the fray (Representative Photo)
In the sixth phase of polling, 64 candidates in Lok Sabha and 383 candidates in Assembly are in the fray (Representative Photo)

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

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The six Lok Sabha constituencies where polls are being held in the sixth phase are Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. 71.82% of the voters in these six constituencies had voted in the 2019 election. 

Voting is taking place in 10,551 polling stations. Over 2,000 polling stations have been identified as critical, with special security arrangements in place to ensure peaceful voting.

Also Read: Lok Sabha election phase 6: Bihar records 45.21 % voter turnout till 3 pm

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

Similarly, 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 where doctors declared her dead.

In Bhubaneswar, as well as, other Lok Sabha constituencies, the arrangements made by the Election Commission left a lot to be desired. Despite scorching heat and humidity touching 80%, there was no drinking water or seating arrangements. Many voters returned home as polling officials took a long time to facilitate voting. Sambit Patra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Puri, alleged that EVMs were not working at several booths in the town. 

“People are facing inconvenience. People are feeling that this is being sponsored and I think the administration and the Election Commission should take cognisance of this,” said Patra.

In Puri, a 97-year-old man protested the non-inclusion of his name in the electoral roll way by sleeping inside a polling booth. Ramachandra Dash, 97, turned up at booth number 56 at Bholanath Vidyapeeth in Puri to find out that he is not listed. After being deprived of voting rights, Dash slept on the floor inside the polling booth demanding his voting rights.

Some of the bigwigs who are in the fray include Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, former corporate bigwig Santrupt Misra from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra and BJD’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das.

Also Read: Odisha: Voters sulk as “Odia Asmita” shuts out bread and butter (and chicken) issues from parties’ poll narratives

Voting started at 7am in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri parliamentary constituencies along with 42 assembly segments within the jurisdiction of these Lok Sabha seats.

In Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, Union education minister Pradhan is pitted against BJD’s Das. Pradhan is contesting the Lok Sabha election for the first time after he lost the Assembly election from Pallahara in 2009. 

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

In Puri, BJP’s national spokesperson Patra is fighting the former commissioner of Mumbai Police, Arup Patnaik. After this phase, elections will be over in 15 Lok Sabha and 105 Assembly seats.

Around 35,000 personnel including 121 companies of Central Armed Police Force have been deployed to ensure law and order.

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