Odisha CEO-Naxal belt to go polls simultaneously, Dedicated team to check Paid News

Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar directed all the political parties this evening to remove their posters, hoardings, photos, banners, and anything that features them, from across the state within 24 hours. Kumar’s directive came after the Election Commission of India imposed the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) after announcing the dates of the Lok Sabha Election-2019 this evening in New Delhi.

Addressing a press conference, the Chief Electoral Officer said There is provision of Monitoring Paid news for which a dedicated cell has been formed in our office so also in district offices, we will monitoring every channel and Newspaper and we can make out what is the paid news and what is not paid news. If we find prima facie this is paid news, The expenditure will be reflected by candidate and if candidate goes 24 laks for Assembly constituency and beyond 70 lakhs for Parliamentary constituency.

Starategy for election planning that contiguous district of states which are affected with left wing extremism must go simultaneously so that interstate movement of LW is restricted and the synergy of the force is utilized optimally in ensuring a free fair and safe election

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in 7 phases.  The dates are April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.

Elections to the Odisha Assembly will be held in 4 phases. The dates are April 11, April 18, April 23 and April 29. 

The counting of votes will be held on May 23.

April 11-Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Berhampur, Koraput

April 18-Bargarh, Sundargarh, Balangir, Kandhamal, Aska

April 23-Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri, BBSR

April 29-Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur

Odisha has 147 assembly constituencies that will go to polls in four phases starting April 11 and will be held along with the Lok Sabha elections. As the model code of conduct comes into force from Sunday (March 10, 2019), Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said reiterated the ban on transfers of poll related officials.

Kumar said that no more voter applications for ‘deletion’, ‘correction’ and ‘transposition’ shall be received from today onward.

Appication in form 6 (for addition) shall be accepted till 10 days before nominations. Total 7,51,333 fresh forms have been recieved during updation of the electoral rolls, he added.

“The photo voters slip, which will be provided at least five days before polls will not be sufficient to establish identity of the voter. One of any 12 documents approved by the Election Commission of India is mandatory to be furnished,” Kumar said.

Total 37,606 polling stations in Odisha will have VVPATs (Voter verifiable paper audit trail). “The first level checking of all Electronic Voting Machines – VVPATs has been completed. Total 34 lakh voters participated in the awareness camps so far and the second phase is underway. Total 10,67,825 mock polls have been conducted,” said Kumar.

The training of Returning Officers, Sector Officer and Observers have been completed. The first round of training was completed between February 16 and 20.

Around 4.70 lakh persons with disabilities have been listed in the electoral rolls in Odisha this time. Odisha stands second after Puducherry in identification, enrollment and flagging of PWD voters, he said.

“All PWDs shall be issued passes for queue jumping and free transport to the polling stations. Two volunteers will be deployed at each polling station to assist PWD voters. At least 25,000 wheel chairs shall be provided to assist them,” the CEO stated.

To ensure transparency and force multipliers, around 10 percent of polling stations will be covered under web casting. Around same number will be covered under CCTV surveillance, he added.