Stage Set for Pipli Assembly By-poll Tomorrow, BJD Looks to Repeat Its Clean Sweep

Bhubaneswar: The much-awaited by-poll to Pipli Assembly constituency in Odisha’s Puri district will be held tomorrow.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is looking to repeat its clean sweep in Pipli, which is considered a fortress of the ruling party.

In the 2019 general elections, the BJD had registered a landslide victory in Pipli by securing 88,518 votes out of 1, 74, 875 votes polled. In 2014 Assembly election, out of 1, 60,995 votes polled, the BJD had won the poll by getting 82,471 votes.

There are 10 candidates in the fray for the ensuing by-election.

The BJD has nominated Rudrapratap Maharathy, the son of late Pradeep Maharathy for the by-poll. Ashrit Pattnayk is the BJP candidate.

More than 2.29 lakh voters will exercise their franchise at 348 booths in the constituency between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.

All polling parties with required voting machines and other documents have been reached to their polling stations and the booths have been sanitized today and will also be sanitized tomorrow, informed Puri Collector Samarth Verma.

There are 201 sensitive (critical) polling stations in the constituency, where central armed police force, micro observers, and webcasting are being done. This time, there are 20 model booths, where various initiatives are being taken to welcome the voters.

Nine platoons of BSF and 25 platoons of state armed police force have been put on duty, the collector said.
As many as 2200 polling personnel will be engaged for the by-poll, including the staff deployed to ensure implementation of Covid-19 appropriate behaviours at the polling booth.

According to the Election Commission guidelines, all the election agents, counting agents etc. deployed by the candidates have to be fully vaccinated. Thermal scanning of the voters will be done at the entrance of booths and masks and sanitizer will be provided to them.

The polling day has been declared as a public holiday in the Pipili area. All the government and private servants who are voters have been granted paid holiday.

The Election Commission has made all necessary arrangements for the smooth conduct of the by-poll.

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