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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Speaking about the Congress party’s prospects in the Pipili bypoll that has been postponed till May 13 after the demise of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj, veteran leader and MLA Suresh Routray on Sunday said that late Mangaraj’s wife could prove to be a winner for the party if given a chance in the coming election.

“We have five aspirants lined up for party’s candidature in Pipili, but nothing has been finalised yet. However, if Ajit Mangaraj’s wife can be given a chance then she can win us the seat in Pipili,” said Routray.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party rubbished the claims of negative effect on the party following a shift in polling dates. Party’s State General Secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan said, “The results will come out in our support. It would not matter if the pool happens on April 17 or May 13. BJP will undoubtedly emerge victorious.”

Asking questions about sympathy votes that could go in favour of Congress if somebody from late Mangaraj’s family is given a ticket, Harichandan said, “Let that leave for Congress to decide, but it really would not affect us. I am sure of winning Pipili,” added Harichandan.

Similarly, the incumbent Biju Janata Dal too claimed their win in the constituency. Odisha Mass Education Minister Sameer Ranjan Dash said, “The party is ready for any eventualities. Our workers are connected with all the voters in the village level. And I can assure you that we will definitely win in Pipili again.”

It is worthwhile to mention here that, the Election Commission had shifted the date of Pipili By-election to May 13 after Congress candidate, Ajit Mangaraj succumbed to COVID19 while under going treatment at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on April 14 just three days before scheduled polling.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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