Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The BJP-led Central government is intentionally delaying announcement of the Bijepur bypoll date, alleged BJD MP Prasanna Acharya today.

"The national parties, especially the ruling party are lagging behind in preparations; they have not announced a candidate for the Bijepur bypoll and for some other reasons they want the election to be delayed," said Acharya.

On the other hand, BJP said that questioning the integrity of the Election Commission is illogical.

"The remarks of BJD are illogical. No one has questioned the integrity of the Election Commission till date and the elections will be held in time," said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) DN Gupta said as per rules elections are held within six months of a seat falling vacant. Discussions are being held on the announcement of dates keeping in view dates of the annual matriculation examination.

"The elections are to be held within six months of the vacancy. Commission is examining all the issues including the court petition. Keeping all the necessary issues in mind Commission will be taking a decision in the next few days about the election to be held in Bijepur assembly," said Gupta.

A report has been received from the Odisha Assembly that the seat is vacant since August 24 and the Chief Election Commissioner will take the final decision on dates, he added.