Voting begins for Bijepur by-polls amid unprecedented security

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By Our Correspondent

BARGARH/BIJEPUR: Tens of thousands were on Monday morning gathered at various polling booths to cast their votes for the much talked about Bijepur by polls in Odisha’s western districts of Bargarh bordering Chhattisgarh. The counting of votes will be held on October 24

CEO officer Sushil Kumar Lohani said some 2,32,264 people are exercising their franchise at as many as 285 polling stations including 129 identified as critical.Webcasting going on in 28 polling stations, while CCTVs are fitted in 14 polling stations nd as many as 77 micro-observers have been engaged.

Though there are five candidates in the fray, the contest is mainly between ruling BJD candidate Rita Sahu and BJP’s Sanat Gartia in Bijepur, which was earlier a Congress bastion.

The Congress has fielded its Bargarh DCC Vice Pesident Dillip Kumar Panda, seen as a greenhorn, in the Assembly segment.

The by-election to the politically sensitive constituency in Western Odisha was necessitated after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who had won two segments in the Assembly polls held in April, 2019, resigned from Bijepur and retained Hinjili in Ganjam district.

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