Bhubaneswar: The counting of votes in the by-election to Odisha's Jharsuguda assembly seat began at 8 am on Saturday. The votes are being counted on 14 tables and the counting will be done in as many as 19 rounds.
After 13th round of counting, BJD candidate Dipali Das is leading by 34,295 votes. BJP has secured 42689 votes and Congress has got 3664 votes till now.
The by-poll was held following the alleged assassination of health minister Naba Kisore Das on January 29 by a police officer.
Altogether, 79.21 percent of 2.21 lakh voters exercised their franchise on May 10.
Though there were nine candidates in the fray, the contest was restricted to three nominees: Deepali Das of the ruling BJD, Tarun Pandey of the Congress and Tankadhar Tripathy (BJP).
BJD leads the 1st round
BJD candidate Dipali Das gets 5944 votes, BJP's Tankadhar Tripathy 3238 and Congress' Tarun Pandey garners 123 votes after Round 1 counting of votes
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.
"All arrangements are in place for the counting of votes at the Engineering School premises in Jharsuguda. There will be 18 complete rounds and one partial round. Postal ballots will be counted first," Chief Electoral Officer Nikunja Bihari Dhal informed PTI on Friday.
In the 147-member Odisha Assembly, the BJD has 113 members, while the opposition BJP and Congress have 22 and nine MLAs, respectively. The CPI (M) has one member, and there is one independent legislator.
With agency inputs