Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: In a major announcement in the backdrop of the surging Covid-19 graph in the State, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the party will not hold any rallies or campaign meetings in the run up to the by-poll for the Pipli assembly constituency on May 13.

Taking to Twitter, Patnaik, who is also the Chief Minister of Odisha, said, “Every life is precious and I always consider people of  Odisha as my family members. In this extremely serious COVID19 situation amidst surge in cases in the country, the BJD has decided not to hold any public rallies or campaign meetings in Pipili bypoll.”

Terming BJD as a ‘responsible party’, Patnaik further stated that it will not put the lives of the people in danger by holding any crowded gathering before the polling.

“We contest elections to serve people. If the campaign has potential to endanger lives, I would earnestly appeal to political parties and the Election Commission to reconsider both the duration and method of campaigning,” Patnaik said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday issued fresh notification for the conduct of the Pipili bypoll. The voting for Pipili bypoll will be held on May 13.

As per the notification, the last date for filing nominations has been fixed for April 26. While the scrutiny of nominations will be done on April 27, the last date for withdrawal is April 29.

Earlier, the Pipili Bypoll was postponed following the demise of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj due to Covid-19 on April 14.

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