Amidst tight security, Odisha set for civic body polls
Bhubaneswar, Mar 24: Elections will be held in 106 civic bodies and three municipal corporations in Odisha today amid tight security, officials said.
A total of 205 platoons of police have been deployed for the polling that will begin at 8 am and continue till 5 pm. One platoon comprises 20 personnel, PTI reported.
Polling will be held in 3,068 booths of 1,731 wards in the 106 civic bodies. In the three municipal corporations -- Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur -- total 168 wards will go to the polls and 1,407 booths have been set up, officials said.
Around 40.55 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise, State Election Commissioner AP Padhi said.
The district authorities and police have been keeping strict vigil, he said, appealing to the people to cast their votes without any fear.
Security arrangements have also been made in the strong rooms with CCTV coverage to ensure round-the-clock safety of EVMs, police said.
As many as 6,411 candidates are in the fray, officials said.
Two EVMs will be used in each booth -- one to elect mayor/chairperson and another to elect corporators and councillors. For the first time in the urban polls, there will be a NOTA option for voters, they said.
The mayors and chairpersons this time will be directly elected by the voters, following amendments in the municipal laws.
As many as 22,000 personnel have been engaged for the polling. Each booth will have one presiding officer and four polling officers.
Meanwhile, police have seized 24,663 litres of liquor, 98 illegal arms, 3.4 kg of drugs in the run up to the elections. As many as 1,377 excise cases were registered and 480 pending warrants executed ahead of the elections.