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Peaceful polling in Odisha Lok Sabha bypoll

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Phulbani, Oct 15:

Polling of votes is on for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat in Odisha amid tight security. While nearly 25% of votes was cast in the first four hours, no untoward incident has been reported so far.

Polling in western OdishaPolling began across 1,497 booths in the seven assembly segments of Phulbani, Baliguda, Daspalla, G Udayagiri, Boudh, Bhanjanagar and Kantamal, spread over four districts,  at 7 in the morning.

An estimated 11.4 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the by-poll for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat.

District Election Officer (DEO) Kandhamal told reporters that polling was in progress smoothly and no untoward incident had been reported.

Central para-military forces CRPF and BSF personnel have been deployed in 530 booths which have been declared sensitive out of the 1,497 booths for ensuring free and fair polling. Also 25 model booths have been set up this time.

A total of seven candidates are in the race.

While Pratyusha Rajeswari Singh, the widow of deceased BJD MP Hemendra Chandra Singh is the BJD’s candidate, Abhimanyu Behera is fighting on a Congress ticket and Rudra Madhav Ray a former BJD MP, who was denied party ticket in the last general elections, is contesting on a BJP ticket.

Counting of votes would be held on October 19.

The by-poll was necessitated following the death of BJD MP Hemendra Chandra Singh on September 5.