Staff on election duty for Pipili bypoll to get COVID vaccine jab

Bhubaneswar: All personnel, who will be engaged on election duty for bypoll to Pipili Assembly Constituency in Odisha, will be vaccinated against COVID-19, informed State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sushil Kumar Lohani today.

“The officials engaged on election duty will be treated as the frontline workers and they will get vaccines on priority basis before Pipili bypoll,” Lohani said at a presser.

Briefing the media, he said that the booths will be sanitised and persons suspected to be infected with COVID will be given token. They will be allowed for vote during last hours of the poll.

The number of booths has been increased from 271 to 348 in Pipili constituency, which is going to bypoll on April 17.

A nodal health officer will be appointed to monitor the COVID situation at polling stations. Like previous bye-elections in Balasore and Jagatsinghpur Assembly seats, the postal ballot papers will be used for voters above 80 years, persons with disabilities and persons infected with COVID, the CEO said.

He said that the upcoming bypoll will be held with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines in view of possible spread of infections.

As per the norms, the candidate cannot be accompanied by more than two persons at the time of filing nomination papers. The candidate will be allowed to use only two vehicles while visiting the place for filing the nominations.

As per the bypoll schedule for Pipili announced by the Election Commission of India yesterday, the candidates can file the nominations between March 23 and 30. The nominations will be scrutinized on March 31 and the candidatures can be withdrawn on April 3. The bypoll will be held on April 17 and the results will be announced on May 2. The Assembly seat in Pipili is lying vacant since October last year after death of Pradeep Maharathy.

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