Jharsuguda: About 75.60 Percent of the 2.21 lakh voters exercised their franchise by 7 PM in the by-poll to Jharsuguda Assembly Constituency, which began on 7 AM and will continue till 7PM.
Polling for by-poll to the Jharsuguda Assembly seat commenced at sharp 7 AM in all 253 booths in the constituency. Before that, mock polling was conducted. During the mock polling, some EVMs and VVPATs were found to be defunct. So, those were immediately changed, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha, Nikunja Bihari Dhal.
Later, the VVPATs were replaced in another two booths. Till 7PM 75.60 per cent voter turnout recorded in the by-poll, he said.
“There is tremendous enthusiasm among the voters in all sections including women, senior citizens and youths. We are welcoming the senior citizens by giving them roses,” Shri Dhal said.
Live webcasting is being done in all 253 booths. Things are very much under control and voting is going very smoothly in the constituency, the CEO informed.
Arrangements have been made for drinking water and sheds along with water sprinklers, cold drinks and fruits at the booths to help voters beat the summer heat and wheelchairs and ramps for the disabled and elderly people have been set up, he said.
Tankadhar Tripathy, party’s former youth wing leader, was seen casting his vote this morning.
A total of 9 candidates including Naba Das’s daughter Dipali Das (BJD), Tankadhar Tripathy (BJP) and Tarun Pandey (Congress) are in fray for the by-poll. All three principal political parties BJD, BJP and Congress have nominated fresh candidates for the by-poll.
As many as 2,21,719 voters including 1,10,619 males, 1,11,037 females and 63 transgenders will exercise their franchise for the by-election.
Based upon the field inputs, 116 booths have been identified as critical booths in 69 locations. Special arrangements have been done for such booths.
A total of 1814 police personnel (including 155 police officers, 17 platoon of armed police, 323 havildars/constables and 205 home guards) and seven companies of CAPF are being deployed for the poll. The CAPF has been deployed in 144 booths.
A total of 1012 polling officers are deployed (4 per booth) for the by-poll. Another 96 polling officers (24 teams) have been kept reserve for deployment, if required.
The by-poll is necessitated following the murder of local MLA and ex-Minister Naba Kishore Das on January 29 this year. Votes will be counted on May 13.