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Odisha assembly bypoll: 7.8% polling in 2 hrs in Pipili

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 30: Voting for the much awaited bypoll for the Pipili assembly constituency in Odisha’s Puri district is underway on Thursday with strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols.

Over 2.29 lakh voters are will exercise their franchise at 348 booths in the constituency between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

There was 7.8 per cent polling till 9 a.m., said the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha.

Technical glitches in EVMs have been reported from six places, which were being sorted out, said an official.

There are 201 sensitive (critical) polling stations in the constituency, where central armed police force (CAPF), micro observers, and webcasting have been deployed.

The voting is going on under tight security. As many as 25 platoons of state police force along with 3 companies of CAPF have been deployed in the constituency.

About 2,200 polling personnel are engaged in the process, including the staff deployed to ensure implementation of Covid-19 appropriate behaviours at the polling booth, officials said.

The bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy.

There are 10 candidates in the fray. The ruling Biju Janata Dal has fielded Maharathy’s son Rudrapratap Maharathy while the BJP has nominated Ashrit Pattnayak and Congress has nominated Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra. The fate of these candidates will be known on October 3.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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