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Odisha Set for Second Phase of General and Assembly Elections on May 20, 2024

Bhubaneswar: The stage is set for the second phase of voting in the General and Assembly elections in Odisha, scheduled for May 20, 2024. Voters will cast their ballots in five Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 Assembly constituencies on Monday. A total of 40 candidates are contesting for the five Lok Sabha seats, while 265 candidates are vying for the 35 Assembly seats in the state.

Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhala outlined the election preparedness, highlighting that voting will occur in the Bargarh, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kandhamal, and Aska parliamentary constituencies. In anticipation of the heat wave conditions in the state, special arrangements have been made to ensure voter comfort and safety.

Voting will commence at 7 am across 9,162 polling booths in the designated constituencies. Of these, 20 percent have been identified as sensitive or critical. Polling times vary: in 933 booths, voting will continue until 5 PM; in 1,789 booths, it will end at 4 PM; and in all other booths, voting will conclude at 6 PM.

A significant feature of this phase is the management of 1,041 polling booths exclusively by women officials, showcasing a commitment to gender inclusivity in the electoral process.

The total electorate for the second phase is 7,969,887, with 2.67 percent being first-time voters. Young voters, aged between 18 and 29, make up 21.31 percent of the electorate, indicating a robust youth participation in the democratic process.

To ensure free and fair elections, 102 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) will be deployed across the state. This enhanced security presence aims to maintain order and address any potential disturbances during the voting process.

With preparations in full swing and all necessary arrangements in place, Odisha is ready for the second phase of elections. The Election Commission has urged all eligible voters to exercise their democratic right and participate in shaping the future of their state and country.

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