2024 poll preparedness: Chief Election Commissioner arrives in Odisha on 3-day visit

Bhubaneswar: A team from the Election Commission of India (ECI) led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar today arrived in the capital city here on a three-day visit to Odisha ahead of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.

The ECI team is scheduled to review the preparedness for the 2024 General as well as Assembly elections in Odisha. Election Commissioner Arun Goel, Senior Deputy Election Commissioners Dharmendra Sharma and Nitesh Vyas, Deputy Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar Sahoo, Director General B Narayanan, Director Pankaj Srivastava and Secretary Rakesh Kumar are the other members of the ECI team that arrived in Odisha, sources said.

The team will take stock of the status of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and booth-level preparedness for the simultaneous polls, they added.

The ECI team will hold discussions with Chief Secretary PK Jena, Director General of Police (in-charge) Arun Sarangi, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Development Commissioner Anu Garg, Home department Additional Chief Secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh, all district Collector and Superintendents of Police (SPs) in Odisha.

“The ECI team will hold discussions with the representatives of all political parties on February 16. It is scheduled to meet the Chief Secretary, CEO, DGP and other senior officials on February 17. The CEC will address a press conference on the same day,” said the official.

The Odisha Police, meanwhile, has initiated preparations for the smooth conduct of the twin elections in the state.

Speaking at a training camp at Police Bhawan in the capital city here today, the Chief Electoral Officer put emphasis on stern action against illegal activities including cash and liquor distribution among the voters during the polls.

“The ECI has planned to install cameras at around 60 per cent booths in Odisha. Steps will be taken for surveillance through drones in densely populated areas of the state,” said the CEO.

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