Bhubaneswar: Just before 6 pm, closure time of poll in non-Maoist areas, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) informed media that 66% tentative polling was recorded in the State on the Phase-I poll day of the general elections today held for four parliamentary constituencies along with 28 assembly constituencies under them.
Briefing media, Odisha CEO Surendra Kumar informed, “While in the Maoist areas the polling time was fixed from 7 am to 4 pm, the time was fixed from 7 am to 6 pm in non-Maoist areas. Wherever the polling was till 4 pm, people were in queue even after that. So, as per the rule all the voters in queue by that time will be allowed to cast their votes.”
“Just before the time of my interaction with you now, I was talking with various districts. Even in a district like Malkangiri, the people are still in queue and polling is on. We hope that the polling will be over within the next 15-20 minutes. The booth where the polling will end at 6 pm, there also the voters already in queue will exercise their franchise. Those who are in queue by 6 pm. After 6 pm, no one will be allowed,” he further informed.
He also added, “We are collecting data. Till now (before 6 pm), our sector officers are on field tour. As per the directive of Election Commission, all our sector magistrates, mobile patrol parties and sector officers have to touch every booth at the closure time of poll to see if the voters are in great number waiting there in queue. If so, they have been instructed to pay special attention there to ensure smooth conduct of polling.”
“Till now basing on the data, approximately 66% polling have been recorded. This figure is subject to change. It is only a tentative figure as there are many pockets lacking internet connectivity,” the Odisha CEO stated.