Bhubaneswar:-Over per cent of the total 2,32,264 voters today exercised their franchise in the by-election to Bijepur Assembly constituency in Odisha today. The polling which started at 0700hrs amid tight security, completed peacefully without any untoward incident. The by-election to Bijepur Assembly Constituency was necessitated after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who was elected from both Hinjli and Bijepur Assembly seats in last general election resigned from Bijepur and retained Hinjili seat.
The authorities have made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of the polling.As many as 33 platoon of Police and three companies of CRPF were deployed to ensure no law and order problem during the polling. The authorities have identified 129 of the total 285 polling stations as critical polling stations and six polling stations in Left Wing Extremists areas as vulnerable.
CCTV cameras have been installed in 14 polling booths, and arrangements have been made to videograph at 16 booths while webcasting is being done in 28 polling booths . Though there are five candidates in the fray but the battle for the ballots was confined to the candidates of three major parties-BJD, BJP and the Congress. Ms Ritarani Sahu of BJD, BJP candidate S Gartia and Congress nominee Dillip Panda are vying with each other to win the by election.