National

Odisha: Naveen Patnaik casts his vote

As polling continued in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies in the third phase in Odisha, Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik cast his vote at a booth under Ekamra Assembly segment of the city on Tuesday.

The Lok Sabha seats where polling was progress since 7 am are Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur and Keonjhar. The 42 Assembly segments came under these Parliamentary constituencies.

A total of 417 candidates are contesting in the third phase polls, and 92.56 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in a total of 7858 booths.

Reports of EVM malfunctioning were received from some booths in the morning hours, but polling resumed after replacing those machines. An average of 7.15% polling of votes was recorded by 10 am.

The BJD president stood in the queue and cast his vote amid tight security arrangements. After casting his vote, Mr. Patnaik exuded confidence that the BJD would perform well in the elections in the State.

Mr. Patnaik is scheduled to visit Balasore and Bhadrak Lok Sabha constituencies later in the day to campaign for party nominees contesting the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Odisha during the day to address two public meetings at Kendrapara and Balasore.

The prominent candidates who were in the fray for Tuesday elections include former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, for Director General of Police Prakash Mishra, and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.

Polling is already over in nine Lok Sabha and 63 Assembly constituencies in Odisha in the previous two phases — April 11 and 18. The fourth and last phase polling in the remaining six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies, for which campaigning is still going on, is scheduled to be held in the State on April 29.

In fact, the BJD had initially raised objections to the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold the polling in Odisha in four phases, instead of two phases as had been done in the past.

Source: thehindu.com

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