Pradeep Pattanayak

While the stage is all set for the by-election to the Jharsuguda Assembly constituency where voting will be held from 7 am tomorrow, ample security arrangements are in place to ensure peaceful polling. 

The entire Jharsuguda Assembly constituency has been divided into five zones. To maintain law and order situation and ensure peaceful voting, 19 platoons of Odisha Police, 300 OR constables, 150 home guards and about 100 officers have been deployed. 

At the same time, seven companies of paramilitary forces have been engaged who will keep a hawk-eye on sensitive booths besides keeping a watchful eye on 144 booths out of the total 253 booths. 

This apart, 25 mobile parties comprising paramilitary forces have been formed. Checking at the constituency’s entry points have been beefed up.  

Worth mentioning, the Jharsuguda bypoll is going to be a litmus test for the political parties. Yesterday being the last day of campaigning, the Biju Janata Dal’s candidate Dipali Das, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tankadhar Tripathy and the Congress nominee Tarun Pandey were seen making their last-ditch efforts to woo the voters.

Notably, the assassination of Jharsuguda’s sitting MLA and Health Minister Naba Kishore Das has necessitated the bypoll. ASI Gopal Das opened fire at the minister at Gandhi Chhak in Brajarajnagar on January 29, resulting in the latter’s death.