Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 19:

Odisha State Election Commission (SEC) today ruled out rescheduling or cancelling panchayat polls in Baghamari panchayat under Mohana Block of Gajapati district following the murder of sarpanch candidate Mini Dalabehera there.


Speaking to reporters, SEC Secretary Rabindra Nath Sahoo informed that according to existing rules, a fresh poll is not necessitated if a candidate dies before the final nomination list is published by the Commission.

“If a candidate dies after the list of eligible candidates are published following scrutinisation — which in this case is Jan 19 — the election is cancelled and fresh nominations and elections are scheduled on later dates. However, since the incident occurred before January 19 in the Baghamari case, a fresh election is not required,” said Sahoo.

Mini – a former sarpanch of the panchayat — had filed her nomination on January 12 for the same post this time as well. She, however was reported missing following which her family members had filed a missing complaint at Chandragiri police outpost.

Acting on the complaint, police had recovered the half-burnt body from a forest. Gajapati SP Sushil Panigrahi at a press conference today confirmed that she had been killed over a love affair and that the police have arrested the prime accused in the case.