Election Commission Suspends Polling Officials in Odisha for Negligence of Duty

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The Election Commission (EC) has taken action against two polling officials in Odisha for neglecting their duties, according to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal. One official from the Narla assembly constituency in Kalahandi district and another official from Ganjam district have been suspended for their failure to fulfill their responsibilities.

CEO Dhal stated that the poll process is being closely monitored in their webcasting room. A minor clash-like incident was reported in the Chikiti area of Ganjam district. Dhal personally contacted the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Berhampur and the Collector of Ganjam, urging them to ensure smooth polling in the Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency, particularly in the Chikiti area.

In light of a lower voter turnout in the Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency, the CEO appealed to voters to come out in large numbers and exercise their right to vote.

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Some technical issues were reported with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in certain locations during the initial hours of voting. However, the situation has since stabilized, according to the CEO.

Voting began at 7 am in the Berhampur, Koraput, Nabarangpur, and Kalahandi parliamentary constituencies, as well as in 28 assembly segments within their jurisdiction.

As of 11 am, around 23.28 percent of the 62.87 lakh (6.28 million) voters have cast their votes, officials reported. The highest voter turnout was recorded in the tribal-dominated Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat at 25.38 percent, followed by Koraput (24.43 percent), Nabarangpur (24.3 percent), and Berhampur (18.99 percent).

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It is important to note that both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are being held simultaneously in Odisha.

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