Ruling BJD candidate Dipali Das surged ahead of her BJP rival Tankadhar Tripathy by 42,395 votes after the 16th round of counting for the by-election to Odisha’s Jharsuguda assembly seat on Saturday (May 13), an election official said.
Das secured 94,326 votes, while the BJP nominee managed 51,931 votes. Congress candidate Tarun Pandey is in the third place with 4,133 votes, he said.
The counting of votes began here amid tight security at 8 am. There will be a total of 18 rounds of counting, the official said.
Odisha’s Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal said the counting process is likely to be completed by afternoon.
The outcome of the by-poll will not have any impact on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government headed by Naveen Patnaik, as the party enjoys a comfortable majority.
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Altogether, 79.21 per cent of 2.21 lakh voters had exercised their franchise on May 10.
The by-poll was held following the assassination of Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das on January 29, allegedly by a police officer.
In the 147-member Odisha Assembly, the BJD has 113 members, and the opposition BJP and Congress have 22 and nine MLAs, respectively. The CPI(M) has one member and there is one Independent legislator.
(With inputs from agencies)