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10 Candidates In Fray

Bhubaneswar: As many as 10 candidates have remained in the race for the by-election to the Padampur Assembly Constituency in Bargarh district.

Briefing media persons about the preparedness for the by-poll, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Sushil Kumar Lohani said the Out of 13 candidates filed nominations for the by-poll, candidature of two persons were rejected during scrutiny. Today is the last date of withdrawal. As no candidate has withdrawn nomination till now, 10 candidates are finally remaining for the contest, he said.

Ballot paper will be printed on this list of contesting candidates. There is a braille ballot facility for visually challenged voters and postal ballot facility for absentee voters like flagged PwDs, senior citizens above 80 + years who have opted for postal ballot, the CEO said.

As on the last date of nomination, there are 2,57, 474 voters including 1,29,497 male voters, 1,27,965 female and 12 third genders.

Out of 4393 voters of more than 80 years, 284 voters have opted for voting through postal ballot.

Mr.Lohani further said that 11 polling parties comprising two polling officers, one micro observer, one video person and one security personnel will be visiting the voters along with the voting compartment and other stationery w.e.f. November 24, 2022 for collecting the postal ballot.

There will be 319 polling stations. The nomenclature of 306 booths have been changed due to change in name of the schools where the booths are located. However, there will be no change in booth location, he informed.

Webcasting will be done in 160 booths i.e. 50% of the total number of booths. Besides, 98 Micro Observers deployed in the critical and sensitive booths till now.

IAS officer Manavendra Pratap Singh, IRAS officer DM Ramprasad Gupta and IPS officer Hemant Chouhan have been appointed as General Observer, Expenditure Observer and Police Observer for the by-poll scheduled for December 5.

Like earlier elections, this time also EVM and VVPATs are being used. First randomization of the EVM VVPATs has been completed.

The Model Code of Conduct is in force since November 5, 2022. Violations like defacement of public property are being set right, posters and banners are being seized. Number of cases recorded on wall paintings, posters, banners etc. comes under public property is 2058 defacement cases recorded as on date is 477, he said.

On steps taken to ensure there will be no law and order station, the CEO said 36 licensed arms have been deposited while 579 persons have been bound down under Preventive Sections of CRPC and 104 Non-Bailable Warrants have been executed.

The Surveillance Teams are fully active in the constituency area and important check points of the district.

Excise enforcement is also going on. As many as 114 cases have been lodged, 74 persons arrested and seizure of excise items IMFL, beer and vehicle etc. of value Rs.59,44,610 has been made.

Dry Day has been declared in the district from 48 hours prior to the day of poll i.e. 4 PM of December 3 to 4 PM of December 5 and on day of counting i.e. 8th December, 2022. Day of poll has been declared as paid holiday for voters of the Assembly Constituency, he added.

The CEO added that 74 vulnerable (LWE affected) booths & 78 sensitive booths have been identified. Nine companies of CPF have been proposed (05 Cos. already reported) for the Assembly Constituency along with sufficient state police i.e. 41 platoons have also been deployed to maintain law and order, Mr.Lohani said.