Odisha Bypoll: 75.89% Voter Turnout Recorded In Padampur

OB Bureau

Bargarh/Bhubaneswar: An estimated 75.89 per cent of the over 2.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the by-election to Padampur Assembly Constituency in Odisha on Monday.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sushil Kumar Lohani said the turnout figure is likely increase as a large number of voters were still waiting at several polling booths at 4 pm, when voting was scheduled to end.

Stating that voting was held smoothly and no untoward incident was reported from any place, Lohani said all of those who had reached the booths by 4 pm are being allowed to vote.

Around 12,000 voters were waiting at 89 booths across the Assembly constituency in Bargarh district at 4 pm, he said.

In 2019, Padampur Assembly Constituency had reported 79.05 per cent turnout, the CEO said, adding that this time also the voting percentage is expected to reach that level when final figures are available.

The voting, which was held at 319 booths, had started at 7 am this morning amid tight security.

Over 2.57 lakh voters, including 1,29,497 males, 1,27,965 females and 12 transgenders, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the bypoll.

A total of 11 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were replaced after they developed glitches, Lohani said.

Notably, voting was disrupted at Booth No 209 at Rajabaoda Sambar in Padampur as an EVM developed a technical snag a few minutes after polling started this morning, sources said.

Help desks were operated by BLOs are providing required help and information to voters. Volunteers have been engaged to take handicapped and elderly voters to booths.

At least 1,400 police personnel and nine companies of central paramilitary forces were deployed to ensure smooth voting, he added.

As many as 79 polling booths were identified as ‘critical’. Webcasting of the polling process was done in 120 booths, while 66 were under CCTV surveillance. There were 15 model booths and six pink ones, which had women security personnel and polling officials. Pick-up and drop arrangements were made for voters with physical disabilities.

Ruling BJD nominee Barsha Singh Bariha, BJP candidate Pradip Purohit and Congress’ Satya Bhusan Sahu cast their votes this morning.

The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of sitting BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha, father of the ruling party candidate.

OB Bureau

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