Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S.K Lohani informed that around 69 per cent polling was recorded till 5 PM in the by-election to Brajrajnagar assembly segment in Jharsuguda district today.
The final voters’ turnout in the by-poll will be known after polling parties returned from the booths, said Lohani adding that the assembly constituency had recorded a polling of 78 per cent in 2019 general elections.
No untoward incident was reported from any booth in the constituency till 5 p.m. However, due to some technical glitches, four EVMs have been replaced, he said.
There was a good number of voters’ turnout at the pink booths set up with only women polling agents, the CEO informed.
To ensure free and fair voting, security arrangements were made in different booths for the poll while 1,228 polling officers were appointed in the booths.
A total of 1,000 police officials and three companies of central armed forces were deployed at different booths to maintain law and order.
The voting started at 7 AM following Covid-19 norms with arrangements of sanitisers and thermal scanning at all polling booths. Moreover, liquor outlets have been closed for 48 hours for the election in the district.
The by-poll was necessitated following the untimely demise of BJD’s Kishore Mohanty in December 2021. There are 11 candidates in the fray, and the constituency will witness a triangular fight among BJD, BJP and Congress nominees.
The BJD has fielded Alaka Mohanty as its candidate for the by-poll while the BJP nominated former MLA Radharani Panda. Congress nominee, ex-assembly speaker Kishore Patel, is also in the race for the MLA seat.
The Assembly seat was with CPI and Congress till 2009 and went to BJP in 2014. Ruling BJD grabbed the seat in the last election held in 2019. Now, all eyes are on the by-poll result as all three parties have a stronghold in the constituency.