Bhubaneawar, October 3: The counting of votes for the Pipili Assembly bypoll has begun amidst tight security arrangements on Sunday. Fare of 10 candidates will decided today.
The by-election to the Assembly Constituency in Odisha’s Puri district was was held on September 30. A voter turnout of 78 per cent was recorded at 348 booths in the by-election.
As per reports, the counting of votes began at 8 AM amid strict Covid-19 protocols. Counting of Postal ballots will be done for the first 30 minutes while the counting session for the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is scheduled to start from 8.30 AM. As many as 14 tables in three halls has been used for the counting of votes. A three-tier security arrangement has been made around the counting centre to prevent any untoward incident during the counting process.
The by-election was necessitated following the death of sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October 2020. Subsequently, the ruling party pitted Maharathy’s son Rudrapratap Maharathy.
The Election Commission of India had deferred polling thrice due to various reasons. The by-poll was initially scheduled for April 17 but rescheduled to May 16 after the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj due to Covid-19. The by-election was then deferred further due to the second wave of the Covid pandemic. BJD roped in Rudrapratap against BJP’s Ashrit Patnaik and Congress’ Biswakesan Harichandan Mohapatra for the fight.