Injured Naveen likely to campaign in Umerkote

Bhubaneswar: Yet to fully recover from his ankle injury, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to campaign for ruling BJD for Umerkote assembly by-poll on Friday, sources said.

Presently confined in residence since he suffered Grade-1 tear in the ligament of his right ankle after tripping during morning walk on November 17, Patnaik decided to hit the campaign trail in the wake of marginal improvement of condition, sources at CM`s residence `Naveen Niwas` said.

The chief minister had, however, been advised by doctors to take rest at least till end of this week, they said. While Patnaik is able to walk with help of a stick. “He finds it difficult to climb up the stairs,” an official said. Patnaik, also the President of the ruling BJD, remained the star campaigner for the regional outfit ever since he entered politics.

Though about a dozen of ministers besides many MLAs and some MPs had been campaigning for the party candidate for November 30 by-elections, Nabarangpur district BJD unit felt that Naveen`s campaign could work like miracles.

Patnaik`s decision to go for campaigning came after opposition BJP revealed its plan to rope in Chhattishgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda to campaign for the party candidate. Meanwhile, AICC Secretary Mirza Ershad Beg had been camping at Umerkote.