Bhubaneswar: Governing Biju Janata Dal(BJD) has won the Pipili Assembly seat by over 20,000 votes.
With Twenty Five rounds of counting of votes have been completed in the Pipili bye-poll, the BJD took a huge lead of 20,607 votes.
BJD candidate Rudrapratap Maharathy has got 96,972 votes while BJP’s Ashrit Pattanayak is in second position with 76,056 votes.
Congress candidate Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra has got 4261 votes and he lost the deposit.
A total of 1,80,930 votes including 893 postal ballots were counted while 136 votes were rejected due to various reasons, he said. As many as 10 candidates were in fray for the MLA seat lying vacant after the death of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October last year.
With this win, the BJD has retained the MLA seat. Pradeep Mahatrathy was elected to the Assembly from the seat seven times. Now, his son succeeded to continue the trend.
BJD President Naveen Patnaik thanked the people of Pipili area for their support to his party candidate Rudra Pratap in the bypoll. He also congratulated his party workers and leaders for the victory.
Counting of postal ballots was started at 8 am while EVM votes counting was started at 8.30 am at three halls at Penthakata Warehouse in Puri. EVM counting is going on in two halls, and postal ballot counting is going on in another hall.
A total of 62 government officials have been engaged to count the votes at 14 tables set up in three halls. While three additional AROs have been appointed by the Election Commission for the counting, the process will be supervised by an election observer.
Both Puri Collector Samarth Verma and SP Kanwar Vishal Singh visited the counting centre prior to beginning of counting to make a final review of the arrangements.
A three-tier security system has been put in place at the counting centre. Force has been deployed at the innermost cordon, the middle cordon and the outer cordon, said Vishal Singh.
All Covid measures are being adhered to at the counting centre. Only those fully vaccinated have been deployed on duty. Wearing face masks, following proper sanitisation and thermal scanning has been made mandatory.
The results was displayed on a large screen at the counting centre for the political agents while the round-wise result was published on the official website of ECI results.eci.gov.in after every round. After counting, the votes of the VVPAT slips were compared with that of EVMs, said deputy collector Sumant Kar.