Zee Media Bureau
Bhubaneswar: About 16 million voters will decide the political fate of candidates for the 11 Lok Sabha and 747 aspirants for the 77 Assembly seats in the final phase of polling on Thursday in Odisha, with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) hoping to romp home for the fourth straight term.
The fate of 98 candidates, including 11 women would be decided in the Lok Sabha elections and that of 747 candidates, including 65 women, in the Assembly.
The BJD, BJP, AAP, Odisha Janmorcha, Ama Odisha Party, Samata Kranti Dal, BSP, JMM and Trinamool Congress will fight it out in the Lok Sabha constituencies - Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Bhunaneswar.
Prominent leaders in the fray in the final phase of the polls include Congress stalwart and union minister Srikant Jena, and former Union Minister Arjun Sethi of BJD, besides a host of MPs including Tathagat Satpathy, Baijayant Panda, Pinaki Mishra, Bhatruhari Mahtab (all BJD).
Contestants for the Assembly included high-profile leaders and state ministers like Maheshwar Mohanty, Pratap Keshari Deb, Badri Narayan Patra, Bijoyshree Routray and Damodar Rout.
Also in the fray were BJP stalwart and former minister Bijay Mohapatra and OPCC President Jaydev Jena.
The first phase of the election was held April 10 for 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly seats.
The popularity of the BJD, which has been ruling the state since 2000 and is seeking a fourth term, will be under test in this election. It won 103 assembly and 14 Lok Sabha seats in 2009.
The state witnessed 75 percent voting in the first phase, nearly 10 percent more than what it recorded in the 2009 general election, a senior official of the office of the state`s chief electoral officer told IANS.
Odisha has a total 28,880,850 electors and 13.45 percent are in the age group 18-25 while women constitute 47.93 percent.
With PTI/IANS inputs