Patkura votes to elect its MLA

Bhubaneswar, July 20 (IANS) Around 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 p.m. in the election to Odisha's Patkura assembly seat on Saturday.

The polling in the constituency was postponed twice in the past few months.

An electorate of 2.44 lakh including 1.27 lakh male and 1.17 lakh female voted in the election for which 1,700 polling personnel were deployed in 309 booths.

A tough fight is expected between Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate Sabitri Agarwalla, wife of former Patkura MLA Bed Prakash Agarwalla, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) heavyweight Bijoy Mohapatra, Naveen Patnaik's bete noire. Congress candidate Jayanta Mohanty is also hopeful of faring well.

While a total of 10 candidates are in the fray, it is likely to be a straight fight between the BJD and the BJP.

BJP candidate Bijoy Mohapatra, a four-time MLA and one of the founders of the BJD, is trying hard to get elected to the state Assembly after 19 years. Ever since he was ousted from the BJD in 2000, Mohapatra has not been able to make it to the Assembly. Mohapatra is very vocal against Naveen Patnaik.

The election to the Patkura Assembly seat was postponed due to the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwalla and cyclone Fani.

The poll to the seat was earlier scheduled to be held in the fourth phase of the recently concluded general elections on April 29.

--IANS

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