Pipili, April 1: The campaign for the bypoll to Pipili Assembly constituency in Puri district has gained momentum with ruling BJD and Opposition BJP leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters.
The bypoll was necessitated after the demise of sitting MLA Pradeep Maharathy on October 4 last year.
As many as 15 candidates had filed nomination papers and nomination of three candidates got cancelled during scrutiny. However, the fight is between Rudra Pratap Maharathy of BJD, son of Pradeep Maharathy, and Ashrit Pattnayak of BJP. Ajit Mangaraj is contesting on Congress ticket.
A number of ministers and senior leaders of BJD have camped for campaigning in the constituency which will go to polls on April 17.
The BJD had assigned four senior party leaders responsibility of management of the party’s campaign for the bypoll. Party vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra, bypoll observer Pratap Deb, former Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty and deputy chairperson of State Planning Board Sanjay Das Burma have been appointed to supervise campaigning in Pipili. Today it gave charge to six more leaders to manage poll campaign. Besides, scores of office bearers of party’s youth and student wings are engaged in groundwork for door-to-door campaign.
The BJP has also accelerated the pace of its campaign with party heavyweights addressing several meetings across the constituency with announcement of a long list of star campaigners.
On the other hand, the Congress camp appears to be in a demoralised position even though the party leaders are campaigning for Ajit Mangaraj.
In 2019 election, Pradeep Maharathy had won with 88,518 votes defeating Ashrit Pattanayak who got 72,731 votes. Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj had secured only 9,830 votes.
The BJP candidate in the 2019 election Pattanayak had given a tough fight to Pradeep Maharathy but lost with a margin of 15,787 votes.
This time, the bypoll is expected to witness a close fight between ruling BJD and opposition BJP.