Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Altogether 17 candidates have filed their nominations for the ensuing by-elections to two assembly seats in Odisha, informed Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sushil Kumar Lohani on Friday.

Eight candidates have filed their nominations in Tirtol assembly constituency while nine candidates have submitted their nominations for Balasore Sadar seat, Lohani said at a press conference.

Today was the last date for filing of nomination for the Odisha bypolls scheduled for November 3.

Lohani said the verification of the nominations will be done on Saturday and the deadline for withdrawal of nominations is 19 October.

Informing about the Tirtol constituency, Lohani said, “Out of the eight candidates who have filed their papers, five are independent candidates and one each from BJD, BJP and Congress party.”

“Similarly, in Balasore Sadar seat, a total of nine candidates have filed their nominations, out of which, BJD, BJP, Congress and CPI have one each, four are independent candidates, and one is from Rashtriya Parivartan Dal,” added Lohani.

Speaking about the postal ballot, 5408 voters in the two constituencies have opted to use postal ballot to cast votes. A special polling party will reach their respective homes to collect the postal ballots.

“We have thought of providing the option of postal ballot to three categories of voters; people above 80 years of age, people with disabilities and those who are in COVID quarantine,” he said.

The block level officers had visited the homes of these three categories from 10 October to 14 October and provided them with the option of casting their votes through postal ballot.

“Tirtol had 15253 such voters, but out of them only 3681 people have opted for postal ballot. Similarly, the Balasore Sadar constituency had 8275 such voters, out of which only 1727 voters have opted for postal ballot,” informed Lohani.

“After completion of all the process and printing of postal ballots, a special polling party will be constituted who will move to their homes along with a police team and facilitate the polling process with utmost secrecy,” he added.

The entire process of postal ballot will be conducted within 20 October and 2 November.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

Also Read | Odisha Bypolls: Nomination Deadline Ends Today

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