Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As the polling date for by-election for Padampur constituency is approaching closer, campaigning has hit the fever pitch on its last day on Saturday.

Polling day for this crucial by-election is December 5, as set by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Several star campaigners and heavyweight leaders of all three main political parties – BJD, BJP and Congress, are now campaigning from door to door. Union Minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan campaigned for the saffron party in Jharabandha and canvassed for party candidate Pradip Purohit today.

BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha also tried to impress the voters by taking part in a number of rallies. Congress has also left no stones unturned as they are campaigning from door to door to beg votes for its candidate Satya Bhusan Sahu.

BJP exuded confidence of victory in the forthcoming election.

“We are confident of winning. However, we are trying to increase the margin of victory,” said senior BJP leader Jaynarayan Mishra.

“BJD has done nothing for the development of the constituency since last 22 years. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is trying to fool people with false promises. Voters of this constituency know everything. They will vote for BJP,” said Mishra.

Meanwhile, BJD candidate Barsha said that voters of the constituency are extending their full support to her and the party.

“We are not telling anything negative about our opposition, rather harping on development agenda during campaigning. We enjoy the support of people and our party will definitely come up with flying colours,” she said.

On the other hand, Congress candidate Sahu slammed BJD for violating the election code of conduct during their campaigning.

“BJD has spent around Rs 50 crore during their campaigning for the bypoll which is clearly a violation of the election code of conduct,” said Sahu.

Altogether 2,57,474 people -- 1,29,497 men and  1,27,965 women voters will exercise their franchise in this by-election. Voting will be held from 7 am to 4 pm on December 5. Counting will be held on December 8.

“As many as 78 booths have been identified as sensitive and 74 booths have been identified as LWE-affected booths. Elaborate security arrangement has been made for a fair and peaceful election. A total of 41 platoon forces including nine companies of central forces will be deployed at various booths during the polling. Webcasting of 50 per cent of booths will be conducted,” said Bargarh SP Smit Parmar.