Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and Electronic Voting Machines have been procured for the Bijepur bypoll, said Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha DN Gupta today without disclosing date for the by-election.

He informed mediapersons that VVPAT machines have been procured from Gujarat as per the directive of the Election Commission of India.

"For 270 polling booths in Bijepur, 20% extra VVPAT machines have been brought so that they can be used in case of any breakdowns," he said adding that first-level check of the machines is underway.

On poll dates, he said the by-election should be held in a constituency within six months after the seat falls vacant. "However, if there are any pending petitions in the court of law, the bypoll should be held within six months of the closure of the case," Gupta said.

Earlier, BJD criticised the centre alleging that the EC is delaying the Bijepur bypoll under pressure from the BJP.

The Bijepur bypoll has been necessitated by the death of sitting Congress legislator Subal Sahu.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced Rita Sahu, wife of Subal Sahu as BJD candidate for Bijepur. Congress and BJP are yet to declare names of their candidates.