Over 1.55 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise tomorrow in the second and last phase of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly election in Odisha involving 11 Parliamentary and 77 Assembly constituencies.
A total 18,692 booths have been set up for the purpose and around 1.41 lakh polling personnel have been requisitioned. Spread over 13 districts, the voters would decide the fate of 98 candidates, including 11 women, in the Lok Sabha elections and 747 candidates, including 65 women, in the Assembly.
Arrangements had been made for web casting of the voting process in 329 vulnerable booths of the total 18,692 polling booths. The 98 candidates include Congress stalwart and Union minister Srikant Jena and former Union minister Arjun Sethi of the BJD, are in fray for Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituencies.
A host of MPs including Tathagat Satpathy, Baijayant Panda, Pinaki Mishra, Bhatruhari Mahtab (all BJD) are also seeking re-election to Lok Sabha. Among 747 candidates in the Assembly election are a host of high-profile leaders and state ministers like Maheshwar Mohanty, Pratap Keshari Deb, Badri Narayan Patra, Bijoyshree Routray and Damodar Rout.
Candidates of AAP, Odisha Janmorcha (OJM), Ama Odisha Party, Samata Kranti Dal, BSP, JMM and Trinamool Congress are also fighting the Assembly election.
State Chief Electoral Officer Mona Sharma said that there was no Maoist threat in the election, though pockets of Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur districts had the presence of certain Left wing extremists.
Altogether 406 companies of security personnel were deployed for poll duty with the district magistrates instructed to remain extra vigilant for the next 48 hours.