Bhubaneswar: The State Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha on Tuesday published the gazette notification for the upcoming byelection to the Assembly constituency of Pipili. The bypoll to the 110 – Pipili Assembly seat which has been lying vacant since October 4 2020 following the demise of 7-time MLA Pradeep Maharathy will go to polls on April 17.
The ECI has fixed the timing for polling of votes from 7 am to 6 pm. The publication of gazette notification means that the nomination filing process has commenced with immediate effect and March 30 is the last date for filling the nominations.
The papers will be scrutinised on March 31 and applicants can withdraw their candidatures by April 3. While the polling of votes will be conducted on April 17, counting and declaration of results will be made on May 2.
Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha, Sushil Kumar Lohani has already announced detail guidelines for the by-election. The number of booths going to the bypoll have been increased this year from 271 to 348 to restrict the total number of voters per each booth at 1000.
The Election Commission has said that the new guidelines will help in enforcing Covid social distancing protocols in a better manner.
The finalisation of the poll date to the much-awaited Assembly segment meanwhile has set the political undertone for a high voltage clash between the ruling BJD and the Opposition.
While, hectic lobbying has started within the ruling BJD for the bypoll ticket, it has been assumed that a member of the family of Maharathy is likely to be nominated by the party to contest for the seat.
Similarly, the Opposition BJP and Congress are also believed to be on the verge of finalising their candidates. While the Congress is pitching the base for a comeback by winning the seat, the BJP is confident that its magic will woo voters.
The saffron party is said to be considering the by-election as an acid test before the upcoming panchayat and urban civic body polls.