Bhubaneswar: The election results to be declared Thursday will decide the fate of 174 Lok Sabha and 1127 Assembly candidates including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Counting of votes for 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats will be declared Thursday. However, election to Patkura Assembly seat has been put off.
As the general election witnessed a straight fight between Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), all eyes are set on the performance of the two parties. Congress, however, is likely to slip to the third position in the State.
A day before the counting of votes, Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik conceded that the party will not be able to form a government on its own in the state and may lose opposition status also.
As per predictions made by various pollsters, there will be a close fight in over two dozen Assembly seats and four to five MP constituencies.
People are keen to know the fate of heavyweights including Naveen Patnaik, Cabinet ministers Sanjay Das Burma, Pranab Prakash Das, State BJP president Basant Panda, BJP national vice-president Jay Panda, Jual Oram, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, Aparajita Sarangi, Pradeep Majhi, Bhakta Charan Das, Jaydev Jena and Ganeswar Behera.
For the first time in his long innings, Naveen Patnaik has contested from two Assembly seats – Hinjili and Bijepur – while state BJP president and Nuapada MLA Basant Panda was trying his electoral fortune from Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat.
Similarly, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik too has chosen two seats – Bhandaripokhari and Ghasipura.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar has said all arrangements are in place for a smooth and error-free counting of votes at 63 centres across the state.
“The counting will begin at 8 am. Extensive arrangements including installation of CCTVs, air-conditioners, videography and deployment of security personnel have been made at the centres for the smooth completion of the counting process,” Kumar said.
As many as 6,700 persons have been deployed for the exercise in 152 halls, he said.
Moreover, about 172 platoons of Special Armed Police and 69 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have been deployed at the counting centres to ensure that there are no untoward incidents during the process.
An additional 12 companies are expected to reach the State Thursday to manage the counting task.
Meanwhile, Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma said superintendents of police of all districts have been instructed to make foolproof three-tier security arrangement at the counting centres.
CAPF personnel will guard strongrooms having sealed EVMs while the SPs have also been asked to make additional arrangements for lighting and drinking water at the counting centres as the process may continue late into the night.
Simultaneous polls were held to 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly constituencies in Odisha which recorded an overall polling percentage of 73.08.
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