Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Polling began at 7 am today for the by-election to the Pipili Assembly Constituency in Puri district amid tight security and strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.

The polling process started at as many as 348 booths across the constituency from 7 am, and it will continue till 6 pm today.

People were seen standing in queues and waiting for their turns to cast votes. Wearing mask, maintaining social distancing and use of sanitiser have been made compulsory for the voters and the polling officials. Adherence to other Covid appropriate behaviours is also being ensured in all the booths.

As many as 2,29,998 voters will cast their votes at 348 booths among which 201 have been identified as sensitive.

In order to ensure transparency and better monitoring of the situation, voting at 175 critical and sensitive polling stations are being webcast. Micro observers have been appointed at 23 polling booths. Moreover, 20 ideal booths have also been set up across the Assembly constituency for the high-voltage by-poll.

A total of 1490 polling personnel are engaged in the election process. Besides, 700 additional polling personnel have also been appointed to ensure compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour during the election.

As many as 22 platoons of armed police forces and three companies of BSF jawans have been deployed in the constituency to maintain law and order during the polling. Besides, 22 platoons of armed police forces including 80-90 officers are on duty to avert any untoward incidents.

The by-election to the Pipili Assembly constituency was necessitated following the death of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October last year . Altogether 10 candidates are in the fray for by-election. The counting of votes will take place on October 3. 

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)