Counting of votes is underway for the by-election to the Pipli assembly seat of Puri district in Odisha.
Pipili Bypoll Election Result 2021 LIVE Updates: Counting of votes for the by-election to the Pipli assembly seat of Puri district in Odisha began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security. The officers provided this information. The by-election here was held on 30 September after the seat remained vacant for almost a year following the death of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Pradeep Maharathi in October 2020. The Election Commission canceled or postponed the by-election thrice due to various reasons.Also Read – Gujarat Assembly Election 2022: Owaisi said – AIMIM will contest Gujarat Assembly elections
In this by-election, the electoral fate of 10 candidates, including Rudra Pratap Maharathi of the ruling BJD, Patnaik of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress candidate Bisvokshan Harichandan Mohapatra, will be decided. An official said that a three-tier security arrangement has been made at the counting center in Pentakota godown. Odisha Chief Electoral Officer SK Lohani told that 72 government officials are engaged in the counting process. After counting of postal ballots in another hall, the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in two halls started at 8.30 am. Also Read – Assembly Elections: BJP in electoral mode, who got the responsibility in five states, know details
To avoid crowding at the counting tables, direct information from the hall is being broadcast on big screens outside the centre, he said. After the counting of votes is over, the results of five Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) and EVMs will be randomly matched, he said. Also Read – Nitish Kumar Has Qualification To Be PM, But He Is Not A Contender For The Post: JDU
He informed that three additional AROs (Additional Returning Officers) have been appointed for the counting of votes and the process will be supervised by an election observer. He said that the candidates are authorized to appoint a counting agent at each table. “Only media personnel authorized by the Election Commission will be allowed to enter the counting centre. They will be given security by the polling staff. They can visit the counting center without cameras or any recording equipment and come back after seeing it.
Pipli assembly constituency is considered a stronghold of the ruling BJD as its member Pradeep Maharathi has won from this seat for five consecutive terms since 2000. Though the bypoll was scheduled to be held on April 17, it was canceled after Congress candidate Ajit Mangraj died of Kovid-19 three days before polling. Later, polling was to be held on May 13 and May 16 but this too was postponed. Apart from the counting centre, security has been beefed up at Pipli and Delang as a precautionary measure as these areas have a history of electoral violence, a police official said.