Bhubaneswar: Over 2.38 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise for the by-election to Dhamnagar (SC) Assembly Constituency in Bhadrak district.
Speaking to Media here on Friday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sushil Kumar Lohani said the Gazette notification for the election scheduled to be held on November 3 next was issued today. The seat fell vacant following the death of BJP MLA Bishnu Sethi on September 19 last.
The voting will be conducted as per the final electoral roll published in January 2022 and updates up to the date of filing of nominations will be used for the election, he said.
As on January 1, 2022 the constituency has 2,38,360 voters including 1,23,013 male 1,15,314 female and 33 third genders. The voters above 80 years of age and PWD voters are being given forms to facilitate them to exercise their options to cast their votes through postal ballots, he said.
Mr.Lohani said as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI), October 14 has been fixed as the last date of nomination. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be made on October 15 and October 17 has been fixed as the last date for withdrawal of candidature.
Polling will be held on November 3 from 7AM till 6 PM and the counting of votes will be taken up on November 6 next. The results will be declared on the same day.The election process will be completed before November 8, 2022.
Mr.Lohani said an adequate number of EVMs and VVPATs for use in the by-elections have been procured and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly.
The model code of conduct shall come into effect with immediate effect in the district in which the whole or any part of the constituency going for election is included.
The Constituency has 252 polling stations and live webcasting will be done in 50 percent of the constituency, he informed.
Candidates with criminal antecedents are required to publish information regarding their criminal antecedents in Newspapers and Television channels on three occasions during the campaign period. Political parties are also required to publish the background and criminal antecedents of their candidates in Newspapers, Television channels and on their websites on three occasions, Mr.Lohani stated.
The ECI said since there has been improvement in covid situation, it has decided to follow the advisories issued by the State Government from time to time. However, the District administration would monitor the Covid situation and enforce the norms of Covid Appropriate behaviour, he added.
Meanwhile, all three principal political parties, BJD, BJP and Congress have geared up to pick the best possible candidate for the by-poll. The BJP seems to be zeroed on the candidature of demised MLA Bishnu Sethi’s son while BJD is in tense as many aspirants are lobbying hard through different leaders for ticket. Congress is holding discussions with local leaders to select its nominee.