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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The fate of 11 candidates will be decided when the counting of votes for the high-voltage by-poll for Brajarajnagar Assembly constituency in Jharsuguda district takes place Friday.

Right from the vote counting centre to the State Chief Election Commissioner Office, preparations are in full swing for the all important day tomorrow.

Odisha Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Lohani said counting of votes will start at Jharsuguda Engineering College from 8 am onwards.

“The counting of votes will begin at 8 am tomorrow. As many as 14 tables will be in place for the counting.  Three staff will be allotted for each table for the counting process which will take place in 20 rounds. Postal ballots will be counted in the first 30 minutes while the counting session for the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will begin from 8.30 am,” said Lohani.

“The candidates will be allowed to allot agents to supervise the counting process. A counting assistant, a counting supervisor and a micro observer will also be allotted in each table. Around 60 counting personnel will be deployed for the 20-round counting purpose. All of them have been imparted proper training,” said Lohani adding that the results will be announced after each round of counting.

“We are expecting that the counting will be finished around 3 pm and the final result will be declared,” he said.

District administration sources said top security arrangement has been made around the counting centre to avert any kind of law and order issue.

“A three-tier security arrangement comprising CRPF, State Armed Police and District Executive Force will be in place around the counting centre to prevent any untoward incident during the counting process to ensure smooth and error-free counting of votes,” said Jharsuguda SP Rahul Jain.

Notably, a total of 11 candidates including BJD’s Alaka Mohanty, BJP’s Radharani Panda and Congress’s Kishore Chandra Patel are in fray for the high-voltage election.

The by-poll has been necessitated following the untimely demise of sitting MLA Kishore Kumar Mohanty.

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