**Bhubaneswar: ** As the much-awaited by-election for the Bijepur assembly seat of Bargarh parliamentary constituency in Odisha is yet to be announced despite its vacancy for over three months, the visit of Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to the Election Commission of India in New Delhi on Friday has triggered speculations over the announcement of the Bijepur by-poll date soon.
In his media reactions a few days ago, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer D.N. Gupta had said that the elections are to be held mandatorily within six months of the vacancy as per the norms of the Commission. Commission is examining all the issues including the court petition. Keeping all the necessary issues in mind, Commission will be taking decision in the next few days about the election to be held in the Bijepur assembly.
The Odisha CEO had also informed then that they have already done preparatory work at their level. Administration of Bargarh district is also aware of it and they have been asked to take necessary action as per the guidelines of the Commission. While taking decision for announcing the date for the assembly election, Commission will look into various aspects like any pending election petition.
He had further informed that the dates of board exams and the festivals that may come during the months of December and January have also been discussed with the officials in the Election Commission of India. As the Commission is aware of all these issues and taking them all into consideration it will take decision about the date for the by-poll.
Notably, the Election Commission of India is yet to announce the Bijepur by-poll date although it has recently announced dates for several bye-polls of various States.
Even though three months have elapsed after the untimely demise of the then sitting Congress MLA Subal Sahu and the Orissa High Court having already disposed off the election complaint case paving path for the Election Commission to conduct by-poll for the Bijepur assembly seat, the Commission is allegedly dilly-dallying on the formal notification following which it has triggered reactions among the political parties in Odisha.