Patkura, July 20 (LocalWire) The polling for by-poll in Patkura assembly constituency in Kendrapada district has begun today with a large turnout of voters invariably in all the 309 polling booths.
Braving steady drizzle, voters mostly women were sighted queuing up at the booths to cast their franchise.
“The polling is peaceful so far. We have a few cases of EVM malfunctioning and technical teams are fixing them”, district Collector Samarth Verma said.
The constituency is witnessing one of the most interesting battles in the state with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s bête noire, Bijoy Mohapatra of the BJP, locked in a fight with BJD nominee Sabitri Agarwalla.
Congress has fielded Jayant Mohanty. Mohapatra is contesting from the seat in his bid to make an entry into the state assembly almost after two decades.
While nine other candidates are also in the fray, the contest is likely to be between BJD and BJP.
A total of 2,44,747 voters, including 1,17,306 women are eligible to exercise their franchise.
The Patkura seat comprises 26 gram panchayats (GPs) from Derabish block, 18 GPs from Garadpur block besides seven GPs from Marshaghai block.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to ensure fair and peaceful polling in 309 polling stations scattered across the constituency.
The State police including Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) are on the vigil to avert breach of peace, the collector said.
Polling in Patkura Assembly seat being held today wad scheduled on April 29, but it could not be held because of the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwal on April 20.
Then, the ECI had fixed May 19 as the new date for the polls in Patkura. However, later it was further postponed following cyclone Fani barreling through coastal districts.
“Voters are braving rains to cast their votes. The electors regardless of age are evincing keen interest this time. We expect heavy polling as voters’ interest is more this time than any other elections held in the past”, said 67-year-old Raghunath Behera (67), a voter.