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BJD alleges conspiracy behind delay in Bijepur by-poll

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Bhubaneswar: The BJD and the Congress criticised the non-declaration of a date for the Bijepur Assembly by-poll in Odisha with Assembly elections for the north-eastern States of Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland that announced the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday.

Five long months have elapsed since the Bijepur seat fell vacant in August 2017. But the by-poll date has not been announced which is highly unfortunate, the BJD said.

It is highly regrettable that the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats which were vacant after Bijepur, the by-poll dates for them have been announced, alleged the ruling party.

From the delay, it can be assumed that the BJP is somehow trying to influence the Election Commission to delay the Bijepur by-poll date. The BJP is apprehensive of defeat in the by-poll; and for that reason, it is making futile attempts to stall the by-poll, said BJD secretary Bijay Nayak.

Similarly, Congress leader and Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinpati said as the BJP is ruling at the Centre, it is trying to pressurise the ECI to delay the by-poll.

However, in reaction, BJP State chief spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said holding of the elections is the responsibility of the Election Commission, which is a Constitutional body. The BJD due to its political interests is belittling the dignity of the Election Commission and repeatedly blaming the BJP. This is highly unfortunate, Sharma said.

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