Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has last evening announced the poll date and other formalities prior to the Pipili assembly constituency’s by-poll in under Puri parliamentary constituency.
Briefing media today, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Sushil Kumar Lohani informed that the formal notification will be made by the ECI for the Pipili by-poll on March 23 while the nomination process will start from March 30, scrutiny of the nomination papers on March 31, last date for withdrawal of nomination is on April 3 and the voting will be held on April 17.
The CEO also informed that the counting of votes will be made on May 2 while all the poll processes will complete by May 4.
“Following the announcement of the by-election date, model code of conduct has been imposed on Puri district with immediate effect. It is applicable to all the agencies of the Central and State Governments there in the district apart from all the political parties, their respective representatives and activist,” the CEO made it clear and loud.
He added that the electoral roll is being updated currently and the continuous updation is slated to continue till the last date of filing of nominations. The voters who are missing from the electoral roll or seek any corrections in it can do it now.
He further said that the Covid guidelines will be strictly followed in the booths.
Accordingly, no voters more than 1000 will be allowed in a polling booth as had been during the previous by-polls conducted in Odisha. Pipili assembly constituency had 270 polling booths and now it has been increased to 348. 75 additional booths are also being set up there. 17% increase in the number of polling booths there while 150% increase in the number of EVMs and VVPATs are being readied. The first level technical checkings of the EVMs and VVPATs have already been done.
The CEO also alerted that mask is a must by all in the election-related activities like meetings, trainings etc. All these activities will be arranged in large halls. The number of vehicles will also be used in adequate numbers accordingly so that the mandatory social distancing is maintained.
It was also informed that postal ballot provision will also be in place this time for the voters above 80 years of age, for the voters with physical disabilities, Covid vulnerable and Covid-infected voters as had been the practice in the previous by-elections. The persons with disabilities have to furnish the bona fide certificate issued by the competent authority to avail of the postal ballot facility. These categorized voters of Pipili assembly constituency can this time apply from today onwards till the five days post formal notification by the ECI.