The high-voltage campaigning for the by-election to Odisha's Jharsuguda Assembly constituency came to an end on Monday evening. The polling will be held on May 10, while the results will be declared on May 13.
A total of nine candidates are in the fray for the bypoll. All the three principal political parties in the state -- BJD, BJP and Congress -- have fielded candidates for the bypoll, which was necessitated by the killing of then Health Minister and BJD leader Naba Kishore Das earlier this year.
The BJD has nominated Naba Das' daughter Dipali Das as its candidate, the BJP has fielded Tankadhar Tripathy, while the Congress has given ticket to Tarun Pandey, son of three-time Jharsuguda MLA Birendra Chandra Pandey.
BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with several ministers, MLAs and senior party leaders campaigned for Dipali Das, while Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Bishweswar Tudu, BJP Vice President Baijayant Panda, state unit chief Manmohan Samal, many BJP MPs, MLAs and leaders joined the campaign trail for Tripathy.
Odisha Congress President Sarat Pattanayak and other party leaders campaigned for Tarun Pandey.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has made all arrangements for smooth conduct of the by-election.
Speaking to mediapersons about the preparedness, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Nikunja Bihari Dhal, said that polling parties, EVMs, election materials, security arrangements - all are in place for the bypoll.
Dhal informed that voting is going to be held in 253 booths in 197 locations. As many as 2,21,719 voters consisting of 1,10,619 males, 1,11,037 females and 63 transgenders will exercise their franchise in the by-election.
Based upon field inputs, 116 booths have been identified as critical booths in 69 locations. Special arrangements have been done for these booths, he said.
In all the 253 booths, web casting has been planned. Apart from that, 69 micro observers will be deployed and extra Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) deployment will be done in appropriate locations, he said.
The CEO informed that a total of 1,814 police personnel, including 155 police officers, 17 platoons of armed police, 323 constables and 205 home guards, and seven companies of CAPF are being deployed for the polling.
As a precautionary measure, 171 licensed arms have been deposited in the concerned police stations. About 1,900 persons have been booked under preventive sections of of Cr.PC while 112 non-bailable warrants have been executed, Dhal added.
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