Odishatv Bureau

Bargarh: Ahead of the Bijepur bypoll scheduled for February 24, the Election commission of India (ECI) has begun the process for appointing a new SP for Bargarh, a move which is said to be aimed at ensuring free and fair by-election.

In a letter, the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha has asked the state Home department to recommend names of three regular recruit IPS officers of Odisha cadre having adequate experience in conducting elections for appointment as SP of the district.

The new SP will replace current IPS officer Jugal Kishor Kumar Banoth.

The State Home department has sought three names from DGP RP Sharma within a day.

It is to be noted that a seven-member BJP delegation led by Odisha in-charge Arun Singh, on November last year, had filed a complaint with the ECI against Bargarh district Collector and Superintendent of Police alleging them of being puppets in the hands of the ruling-BJD.

Demanding the transfer of the duo, BJP had said that a free and fair bypoll cannot be expected in Bijepur if both the officials are not transferred.

Meanwhile, with the political parties gearing up for the by-election, considered to be an 'acid-test' ahead of 2019 general elections, the scrutiny of nomination papers of the candidates in fray will be done today. The last date for filing of nominations ended on Tuesday while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 9.