10 candidates in fray for Padampur bypoll in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Altogether 2, 57, 474 voters will decide the fate of 10 candidates in the December 5 Padampur by-election in Odisha.

As many as 13 candidates, including eight independents, had filed their nominations for the bypoll on November 17.

The nominations of two independent candidates were cancelled during scrutiny on November 18. On the other hand, a candidate withdrew his paper today (November 21), the last day for withdrawal of papers, said the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha.

According to the CEO, as many as 2,57,474 voters including 1,29,497 men, 1, 27, 965 women, 12 members of transgender community and 199 service voters will cast their votes for the bypoll in 319 polling stations.

At least 74 booths have been identified as vulnerable to left-wing extremism (LWE) while 78 others have been marked as sensitive, sources said. At least nine companies of central police force (CPF) and 41 platoons of state police will be deployed across the constituency for smooth conduct of the by-election.

Webcasting will be done in at least 160 (50 per cent) polling stations. The model code of conduct (MCC) has been in force in the constituency since November 5, sources added.

The voters will cast their votes from 7 am to 4 pm on December 5. Dry day will be observed in Bargarh district from 48 hours prior to the polling day and on the day of counting (December 8), said sources in the CEO office.

December 5 has been declared as a paid holiday for the voters of Padampur constituency.

Notably, the by-election has been necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha on October 3. Bariha had been elected from Padampur Assembly segment on a BJD ticket in 2019.

The ruling BJD has fielded Bijaya Ranjan’s elder daughter Barsha Singh Bariha while BJP has nominated former MLA Pradip Purohit for the by-election.

The Congress party has picked its former legislator Satya Bhusan Sahu to contest the bypoll.

Bijaya Ranjan as BJD nominee had defeated Purohit by 5,500 votes from Padampur segment in 2019 elections.

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