Bargarh: The high voltage campaigning for the battle royal for the Bijepur assembly seat ended today evening amid serious allegations and counter allegations by the three major political parties in which over 2.10 voters would press the EVM button to elect their representative on February 24. While the casting of votes would continue till 5 PM in the afternoon long queues of voters were seen in front of the polling booths starting from the morning.
Around 81.86 per cent polling had been recorded in Bijepur Assembly segment in the 2014 election, he said.
Voting in booth no- 88, 102, 141 in Bijepur block and booth no 20 in Barpali block was interrupted after technical glitches developed in Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, which are being used for the first time in the by-poll.
The polling commenced at 8 am.
Biju Janata Dal spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party orchestrated the attack on Singh as they fear losing the Bijepur bypoll.
The by-poll was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu in August previous year.
There are 13 other candidates in the fray including Ashok Panigrahi of BJP and Pranay Sahu of Congress.
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Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the by-poll in the constituency located in Bargarh district, especially in the wake of pre-poll violence in and around the area, officials said.
Elaborate arrangements have been made by the Election Commission for the Bijepur bypoll where almost 2.21 lakh voters will exercise franchise in 281 booths today.
Of the 281 booths, 155 were identified as critical.
This apart 36 platoons of Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) forces, 12 squad and 40 mobile party were deployed in the constituency to maintain law and order situation and ensure a free and fair polling.
Attack on the brother of Minister of State for Labour Sushant Singh on Thursday night sparked off acrimonious exchanges between the two parties with the BJD alleging that it was the handiwork of BJP.
A total of five companies (500 personnel) of central paramilitary forces and one company (85 personnel) of Orissa Swift Action Force have been deployed on poll duty, Bargarh district ASP Jaswant Senapati said.