Puri: Ruling BJD candidate Rudra Pratap Maharathy on Sunday (October 3) widened his lead over nearest rival Ashrit Pattanayak of the BJP to 11,196 votes at the end of the eleventh round of counting in the Pipili by-election, the Election Commission said.
Maharathy secured 42,774 votes, while Pattanayak bagged 31,578 votes, and Congress nominee Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra got 2,602 votes.
Of the 78,675 votes counted till the end of the eleventh round, 401 people chose the NOTA (none of the above) option, it said.
Around 78.24 per cent of over 2.29 lakh voters had exercised their franchise in the by-poll on September 30.
A total of 25 rounds of counting will be held. Ten candidates are in the fray for the by-poll which was either countermanded or deferred thrice before September 30.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October last year.
Incidentally, the date of counting of votes coincides with the first death anniversary of the sitting MLA, who had succumbed to COVID-19. He had defeated Pattanayak by 15,787 votes in the 2019 elections.