Pipili by-poll postponed as poll candidate dies

Bhubaneswar: The Pipili by-election, which was scheduled to be held on April 17, has been postponed, said official sources at the Chief Electoral Office, Odisha. Following the death of Ajit Mangaraj, the Congress candidate for the by-election at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar due to Covid-19 today afternoon, fresh dates for the by-poll to Pipili Assembly seat will be notified later.

Over phone Sushil Lohani, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Odisha, said a report has been sought from the Puri district returning officer and further action will be taken thereafter. The report will be then sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Lohani further informed a fresh notification for the by-poll will be issued soon.

Campaigning for the by-poll was scheduled to end tomorrow, but as soon as the news of Mangaraj’s death broke out, a poll of gloom descended in the area.

As many as 10 candidates were in the by-poll battle for the Pipili Assembly constituency. Rudra Pratap Maharathy of BJD and Ashrit Pattnayak of BJP had also filed their nominations.

Mangaraj had unsuccessfully contested on a Congress ticket from Pipili Assembly seat during 2019 general election.

Worth mentioning, on October 4 last year, the sitting Pipili MLA Pradeep Maharathy passed away necessitating for a by-poll to the Assembly seat.

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