For the third time, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced date for the bypoll to Pipili assembly constituency in Odisha, on Saturday.
As per a notification of the ECI, the bypoll will be held on September 30 and the counting of votes will be done on October 3.
The bypoll which was necessitated following the death of sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy, was initially scheduled for April 17 this year. However, it was countermanded in the aftermath of the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj on April 14 due to Covid-19.
Following the death of Mangaraj, the polling date was fixed on May 13, which was again rescheduled to May 16 in view of the Eid-ul-Fitr, a festival of Muslims. Again the bypoll was deferred in view of the second wave of Covid-19.
There will be no fresh nomination filing for the bypoll as all those processes have already been completed, said sources.
The BJD has fielded Maharathy’s son Rudrapratap Maharathy while the BJP has nominated Ashrit Pattnayak and the Congress has nominated Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra for the MLA seat.
As per the ECI, the model code of conduct will come into effect from Saturday itself and the campaigning will start from September 20. The silence period is 72 hours before the end of the poll. There will be no roadshow and motor/bike/cycle rallies to be allowed, it said.
The number of star campaigners will be restricted to 20 for the national and state recognised parties and 10 for unrecognised registered parties in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Maximum 5 persons including the candidate can participate in the door-to-door campaigning.