Political parties gear up as ECI announces poll date for Bijepur bypoll

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Bhubaneswar: The long wait for the announcement of date for the Bijepur Assembly bypoll in Odisha finally ended as Election Commission of India (ECI) today declared to conduct the by-election for the assembly constituency on February 24.

Besides the polling on February 24, the counting of votes and result announcement will be conducted on February 28.

The announcement of date for the bypoll comes five months after the Bijepur seat fell vacant since August 2017.

Earlier the BJD and the Congress had alleged that the BJP is somehow trying to influence the Election Commission to delay the Bijepur by-poll date.

Notably, the Bijepur bypoll was necessitated after the death sitting Congress MLA Subal Sahu on August 22 last year.

As per rules, the bypoll should be conducted within six months of the post lying vacant but in case of any pending petition challenging the election of a legislator, the six-month duration is considered from the date of the disposal of the case.

Earlier on October16, 2017, the Orissa High Court had concluded hearing on the petition filed by BJD leader Prasanna Acharya challenging the election of late Bijepur MLA Subal Sahu.

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