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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: High-octane campaigning for the bypoll to Bijepur Assembly constituency, which is seen as a precursor to the 2019 general elections, came to an end at 5PM today following which police have beefed up security to prevent any untoward incident.

Nearly 2.21 lakh voters of the constituency will exercise their franchise on February 24.

“Polling will be done at a total of 281 booths out of which 155 booths have been identified as critical. Our main focus will be smooth polling in the constituency,” said Bargarh Collector, Yamini Sarangi, adding that adequate security arrangements have already been put in place.

Padampur sub-collector Tapiram Majhi said that all the requisite arrangements have been made for the use of VVPAT (Voter-verified Paper Audit Trail) machines.

“Though the people of Bijepur will use the VVPAT for the first time, no problem will arise as we have successfully conducted several awareness drives in the region on the use of the machine,” said Majhi.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Surendra Kumar, said that as many as 28 complaints related to violation of model code of conduct in the bypoll-bound Bijepur have been received by the Election Commission out of which, ‘Action Taken Report’ has been sought in several cases.

“Bijepur bypoll’s photography and videography will be done. CCTVs will be installed in 20 booths and ‘micro observers’ will be deployed at the critical booths,” said Kumar.

While voting will be done on February 24, counting of votes and results will be declared on February 28.

Meanwhile, police on Thursday seized 2,370 imported liquor bottles worth over Rs 2 lakh from the possession of one Anil Nayak of Purena village in Jaring Panchayat of Bijepur constituency.

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