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Odisha CEO directs arrest of 2 presiding officers in Ganjam, three others suspended

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Bhubaneswar, May 13: As Odisha voted in the first phase of its simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on Monday, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer directed the suspension and arrest of two presiding officers in Ganjam district for serious dereliction of duty, while three others in Ganjam and Kalahandi have been suspended.

“We have ordered the Ganjam District Collector to put three presiding officers on suspension and arrest two of them as well as they have committed serious dereliction of duty. The presiding officers of polling booths number 27 and 163 in Chatrapur will be suspended and arrested. Similarly, it has been ordered to suspend the presiding officer of polling station number 193 in Gopalpur,” CEO Nikuanja Bihari Dhal said.

The accused officials were allegedly found to be influencing voters to vote for a particular political party.

Earlier, a polling officer posted at Narla in Kalahandi district and a presiding officer at Chikiti in Ganjam were placed under suspension over dereliction of duty.

As per the Election Commission of India, Odisha has registered 62.96 per cent voter turnout till 5 p.m.

Kalahandi Parliamentary Constituency with 67.07 per cent registered the maximum polling while Nabarangpur recorded a 65.07 per cent voter turnout.

Among the assembly segments, Dabugam of Nabarangpur district witnessed a 71.30 per cent turnout while Dharmgarh in Kalahandi district closely followed with 70.06 per cent.

The first phase of polling in Odisha started on Monday in Berhampur, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Koraput parliamentary constituencies and 28 Assembly segments under these constituencies.

Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from May 13 to June 1. The results of the polling for both will be out on June 4.

IANS

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