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Sharmili Mallick

With the high-decibel campaign for September 30, Pipili by-election concludes today evening, leaders affiliated with different political parties and candidates in the fray are making last-ditch efforts to woo voters by organising small meetings and visiting door-to-door in view of the Covid restrictions.

The leaders and candidates of the three major political parties in Odisha- BJD, BJP and Congress have been seen leaving no stone unturned to make inroads into the hearts of the voters ahead of the crucial by-election.

Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik is all set to hit the campaign trail virtually today for the party candidate Rudra Pratap Maharathy.

Former Union Minister and BJP MP Pratap Sarangi campaigned for party candidate Ashrit Pattanayak on Sunday. Sarangi visited several villages in Dandamkundapur panchayat and urged people to votes for Pattanayak.

“We visited several panchayats- Sujanpur, Kalyanpur, Ghanipur, Dhanakera and Abhayamukhi under Delang block and sought the blessing of the people. I urged them to vote for BJP on September 30. I am confident that with the love and blessing of the people, lotus will definitely bloom in Pipili,” said Ashrit Pattanayak.

“The rule of BJD in Pipili is going to end after the by-poll. Even if the BJD was ruling in the assembly constituency for a long time, there has been no development here. Many villages in the constituency still lack proper motorable roads while people are deprived of houses under the housing schemes of the government. Besides, crimes against women have been increasing,” alleged Sarangi.

Similarly, BJD candidate Rudra Pratap Maharathy campaigned in Chainpur panchayat under Delang block of Puri district. Maharathy also visited Gobindapur, Hatasahi and Pamsara panchayats and held Mahila Samavesh. Maharathy highlighted the success of the BJD-led Odisha government during its 21 years of reign in the State.

Likewise, senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Routray visited Sripurusottampur, Berboi and Munida panchayats under Delang block and campaigned for the party candidate Biswakesan Harichandan Mohapatra.

“We are visiting doo-to-door and speaking to the people of the constituency. The party workers have been arranging panchayat and block level meetings while adhering to the Covid protocols and seeking votes for the party,” said Mohapatra.

The by-poll in the Pipili assembly constituency was necessitated following the demise of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October, 2020. The voting is scheduled to take place on September 30 and the counting of votes on October 3, respectively.

The by-poll was initially scheduled for April 17 but rescheduled to May 16 after the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj due to COVID-19 complications. The by-poll was deferred further due to the second wave of the Covid pandemic.

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