Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief election officer (CEO), SK Lohani, Thursday announced that the by election to 110-Pipili Assembly constituency has been postponed to May 16 as Id festival of Muslim communities falls on May 13, the date fixed earlier after the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangraj. Election camping will be held with strict adherence of Covid guidelines.

“However, upon consideration of some representation received by Commission regarding celebration of Id-ul-Fitr, again the date of Poll has been amended vide fresh Notification of ECI Dated-21-04-2021. As per revised communication, the dates for Nomination, Scrutiny & withdrawal of Nominations remains unchanged. But the date of Poll has been fixed on 16th May, 2021. The date of Counting is fixed on 19th May,2021. The counting will start at 8.00 a.m. The Election process is going to be over by 21st May,2021.”

Election Commission of India has further instructed that no rallies, public meetings, street plays, Nukkad sabhas shall be allowed on any day during the days of campaign between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. Further the silence period for rallies, public meetings, street plays, Nukkad Sabhas, bike rallies or any gathering for campaigning purposes shall be extended to 72 hours before the end of Poll i.e. from 06.00 p.m. on 13th May,2021. Candidates, political parties shall ensure absolute adherence to Covid guidelines in letter and spirit. Violations if any shall be sternly dealt with and action including criminal action taken as per extant legal framework.
As per guidelines issued vide order of S.R.C., Odisha Dtd.19-04-2021: No social/ political/religious/academic/meetings/ congregations shall be allowed. All these activities are to be encouraged to be conducted on virtual mode. No rallies/processions of any sorts shall be allowed.
It shall be the responsibility of the organizers of public meetings, rallies etc to provide of masks and sanitizers to every persons attending these meetings rallies etc. at their own costs which shall be added and counted within limits of prescribed expenditure. Organizers shall also ensure proper usage of masks, sanitizers and also be responsible for maintaining minimum social distance by every one.

District Election Officer and Returning Officer shall take strict measures to enforce Covid guidelines during campaign. They shall cancel public meetings, Rallies etc. if any violations are observed in addition to invoking penal sections. Special Observers and General, Police and Expenditure Observers shall strictly monitor compliance of Covid norms during campaign .

The Chief Electoral Officer, S. K. Lohani made an appeal to all the stake holders of the bye election to adhere to the guidelines issued by Election Commission of India and the State government from time to time to ensure Covid safe bye election by monitoring the Covid appropriate behaviors strictly.