Bhubaneswar: Odisha has sought additional security forces to ensure free and fair Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on April 10 and April 17, the state`s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said on Wednesday.
"We have already 89 companies of central para-military force in the state. We have sought additional force to conduct free and fair elections in both the Naxal hit areas and other parts of the state," Mona Sharma, the CEO, Odisha, told reporters.
Three lakh government employees besides security personnel would be engaged in the exercise.
All precautionary steps would be taken in Left Wing Extremism (LEW) hit areas of the state, Sharma said, adding "the polling is being conducted one one date in all the Naxal hit areas of the state and in adjoining areas in other states."
"We have already identified the sensitive and hyper -sensitive booths in the state and all the district collectors and superintendents of police (SP) have been asked to place their requirements," Sharma said.
A total of 2,88,80,850 people are eligible to cast their votes in Odisha.
Of the 2,88,80,850 voters, 1,50,38,350 are males, 1,38,41,394 are females and 1106 voters come under others category, Sharma informed, adding that 70 lakh new voters have been added this time of which 10 lakh voters` age was between 18 years to 19 years.
Sharma said the polling in the first phase will be held in 10 Parliamentary Constituencies and 70 assembly segments on April 10 for which notifications will be issued on March 15.
The Lok Sabha segments which will go to polls on first phase included Bargarh, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Aska, Berhampur and Koraput.
Similarly, the second phase polling on April 17 will be held in the Parliamentary Constituencies comprising Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Bhubaneswar, Sharma said, adding that 77 assembly segments under these 11 Lok Sabha seats will also go to polls on that day.
All the three major political parties in the state ruling BJD and opposition Congress and BJP have welcomed the announcement of poll schedule.