Pipili bypoll: Patnaik to campaign for BJD candidate on virtual mode

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 7 (PTI) Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will campaign for the party candidate in the by-election to the Pipili assembly seat through virtual mode, a party leader said.

The by-poll in the Pipili segment is scheduled to take place on April 17.

Since Naveen Patnaik avoids going outside due to COVID-19 pandemic, BJD MLA Umakanta Samantray said that large LED TVs will be put up in each Zilla Parishad zone through which the chief minister will interact with the people and address public meetings.

Earlier, senior BJD leader and party's observer for the Pipili segment, P K Deb had indicated that the chief minister will campaign for the party candidate Rudrapratap Maharathy.

BJP state general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will participate in the rally and address public meetings on April 13. Besides, some Central leaders of the party will also join the campaign, he said.

Ahead of Pradhan's campaigning, BJP's national spokesperson Sambit Patra had also visited Pipili on Monday and campaigned for his party candidate Ashrit Pattanayak at Jashuapur and Birapurushottampur village.

Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj, while campaigning Wednesday fell ill due to excessive heat and was hospitalized.

OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik and other senior leaders visited Mangaraj at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Y K Jehthwa reviewed the security arrangements at Pipili and Delang area under the segment.

While 18 platoon (1 platoon comprising 30 personnel) of OSAP jawans are already deployed in the constituency, three companies (1 company comprise 100 personnel) of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) to reach Pipili soon, an official said.