Odisha chief electoral officer Surendra Kumar has suspended 14 government officers for dereliction of duty in the second phase of polling on April 18 and recommended fresh polling at a booth in Sorada assembly segment in Ganjam district.
Surendra Kumar said the 14 officers were deployed in five Lok Sabha and 35 assembly constituencies and were suspended on charges of dereliction of duty during the simultaneous polls.
The repoll was recommended after a BJP candidate contesting the Sorada seat had allegedly smashed an EVM machine during voting in the second phase of polling on April 18 alleging rigging by BJD workers, he said.
He was later arrested.
Surendra Kumar said the 14 suspended officers included seven presiding officers and an equal number of sector officers who were deployed in Padampur, Bargarh Atabira, Sundergarh, Bonai and Daspalla assembly constituencies.
The CEO had recommended repolling in six booths where polling was held in the first phase on April 11. The voting in these booths was affected due to human error in connecting the VVPAT machine.
An official release issued by the CEO said that during the second phase 72.56 per cent votes were cast.
While the figure for women voters was 73.75 per cent, that for male voters was 71.44 percent, it said.
The women voters both in the first and second phases outnumbered the male voters. In the first phase women voters outnumbered male voters by 1.34 per cent, while in the second phase it was 2.31 per cent, the release said.
The chief electoral officer appreciated the officers posted in Kandhamal district for successfully conducting polling in the face of threats from left wing extremists.
"The task was tough and they worked in adverse conditions. But they performed their duty with due diligence and sincerity," Surendra Kumar said adding the Election Commission of India has been informed of their efforts.
A day before the second phase polls, the Maoist rebels had killed a woman sector officer and burnt three vehicles in Kandhamal.
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