- Voting will continue till 5 pm across 47 municipalities, 59 NACs and three municipal corporations
- CM Naveen Patnaik cast his vote in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area
- As many as 6,411 candidates are in the fray for councillor/corporator seats
Polling in 109 urban local bodies of Odisha, including three municipal corporations of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur began at 8 am on Thursday. According to state election commission officials, tight security arrangements have been made for the polling process.
Voting will continue till 5 pm across 47 municipalities, 59 NACs (Notified Area Councils) and three municipal corporations.
Among the early voters was Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who cast his vote at Aerodrome Upper Primary School in ward number 53 of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area.
Long queues of voters, mostly women, were seen outside polling booths in the morning hours to avoid the scorching sun and heatwave conditions prevailing in the state capital, neighbouring Cuttack and Berhampur.
Over 40.55 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise in the general elections to the ULBs. The counting of votes will take place on March 26.
A total of 22,000 polling officials are engaged in the voting process, while 205 platoons (1 platoon comprises 30 personnel) of the police force have been deployed to maintain tight security.
Direct elections to the posts of mayors in municipal corporations, and chairpersons of municipalities and NACs are being held for the first time, the SEC officials said.
The commission has also introduced the NOTA option in urban polls.
As many as 6,411 candidates are in the fray -- 569 nominees for chairperson/mayor posts and 5,842 contestants for councillor/corporator seats.
(With inputs from PTI)