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Polling begins in Odisha

Polling begins in Odisha for 70 Assembly constituencies and 10 Lok Sabha seats in the first of the two-phase simultaneous elections.

An electorate of 1,36,46,989 voters, including 66,62,309 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise today.

There are 673 aspirants for the 70 Assembly seats. Prominent among them is Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is seeking re-election from Hinjili constituency in Ganjam district.

There are 98 candidates, including former Congress chief ministers Giridhar Gamang and Hemanand Biswal, former union ministers Jual Oram (BJP) and Bhakta Charan Das (Congress).

Hockey star and former Indian team captain Dilip Tirkey is contesting the election as a BJD candidate from Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat.

Prominent Odia cinestar Siddhant Mohapatra is a BJD candidate from Berhampur Lok Sabha seat.

While the polling time will be 7 AM to 4 PM in 56 Assembly segments, for 16 other segments it will be 7 AM to 6 PM.

Polling in the remaining 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly constituencies in the state is scheduled to be held on April 17.

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