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Campaigning for Bijepur bypoll in Odisha ends

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Bhubaneswar:  The high-pitched campaigning for the February 24 bypoll for the Bijepur Assembly seat in Odisha’s Bargarh district came to an end on Thursday with all political parties making last-ditch efforts to woo the voters.

The counting of votes will be held on February 28.

As per the Election Commission guidelines, all political leaders, functionaries and party workers who are not registered voters in the constituency will have to leave ahead of the polling.

Leaders and workers of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress conducted door-to-door campaigning on the last day of canvassing.

BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, several Union Ministers and BJP leaders, including Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Jual Oram, and senior Congress leaders extensively canvassed for votes for their respective candidates during the campaigning.

The death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu in August last year necessitated the bypoll.

While Subal’s wife Rita Sahu is the BJD candidate, the Congress has fielded Pranaya Sahu. The BJP has put up Ashok Panigrahi.

Security was beefed up ahead of the polling day.

“We are taking all steps to hold peaceful and free byelection. We will make sure all critical booths are equipped with webcast facility. Micro observers will be deployed and we are trying to source additional Executive Magistrates from nearby districts for poll duty,” state Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said. (IANS)