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Odisha Elections 2024: Bhubaneswar Bucks Low Turnout Trend With Over 8% Jump In Polling

By
OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The city denizens bucked the previous polling trend of urban empathy as Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituency posted an impressive 64.49 per cent voter turnout in the recently concluded elections.

Fair weather coupled with extensive awareness drives and excitement among first-time voters seems to have contributed to the 5% jump in the turnout in the Lok Sabha seat, comprising 3 Assembly segments in Bhubaneswar and four in Khurda district. The constituency had witnessed a turnout of 59.60 per cent in 2019 and 58.38 per cent in 2014.

According to the statistics of the Election Commission of India, three Assembly seats in the city – Bhubaneswar-Central, Bhubaneswar-North and Ekamra-Bhubaneswar, where traditionally the turnout has been less than 50 per cent – recorded a combined polling percentage of 53.87.

Bhubaneswar-Central Assembly constituency recorded 51.23 per cent voter turnout, a growth of around 8 per cent over 43.25 per cent in 2019. Similarly, Bhubaneswar-North saw a 8.59 per cent rise with 53.93 per cent turnout compared to 45.39 per cent in 2019. Ekamra-Bhubaneswar polled 56.42 per cent votes, registering an 8.78 per cent growth over 47.64 per cent in 2019.

The other four segments – Jayadev, Begunia, Khurda and Jatni – recorded 80.77 per cent, 71.96 per cent, 72.25 per cent and 70.19 per cent, repectively, helping Bhubaneswar LS seat to post the highest voting percentage of 64.49 per cent in the last one-and-a-half decade.

Chief Election Officer, Odisha, Nikunja Bihari Dhal said several measures were taken to raise awareness among voters, especially in the three Assembly segments in the state capital. The polling percentage might improve further as it does not include the postal ballots, he added.

Khurda Collector and District Election Officer Chanchal Rana said ‘Mo Booth’ app also helped voters of the Assembly segments to find the name and route of their polling station as well as number of people waiting in queue at any given point of time.

BJD leader V K Pandian attributed the increase in voter turnout in the capital to the strong support to BJD’s policies benefiting the middle class and youngsters. “No other party has the development agenda in their manifestos for the middle class,” he claimed while highlighting initiatives like the ‘Nua Odisha’ scholarship and youth budget.

Adequate security measures were put in place to ensure free, fair and impartial voting in Bhubaneswar constituency. The district administration had identified 306 critical polling stations in Khurda district and among them, 257 were in Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency. Around 32 critical polling stations were in Bhubaneswar Central Assembly segment, while 27 in Bhubaneswar North and 29 in Ekamra Bhubaneswar. This apart, 27 polling stations including four each in Bhubaneswar Central and North were identified as vulnerable. At least 12 central armed police force (CAPF) companies were deployed in the polling stations to ensure peaceful voting.

OB Bureau

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