Congress Candidate for Odisha Bypoll Ajit Mangaraj Dies of COVID

Ajit Mangaraj had tested positive for the virus on 10 April and was admitted in Apollo Hospitals.

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Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj

Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj who was contesting bypoll from the Pipili seat in Odisha, succumbed to COVID on Wednesday. The 52-year-old was a businessman, who had tested positive for COVID on 10 April. He was subsequently admitted to Apollo Hospitals.

The single-day cases of COVID in Odisha breached 2,000-mark on Wednesday for the first time in 2021 when the state reported 2,267 new cases.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted and said, “I am sad to know about the demise of Congress candidate Ajit Mangraj, who is contesting the Pipili assembly bypoll. I extend my condolences to the bereaved families at such a sad time,” Outlook reported.


Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and senior Congress leaders also condoled Mangaraj’s death. Patnaik had earlier called up Mangaraj's family to enquire about his health on Monday.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha himself, visited the hospital and expressed his grief saying, “He was infected with COVID and passed away today. I pray to the Lord to give peace to his soul and strength to his family members,” reported Outlook India.

Senior Congress leader and former MP Pradeep Majhi said that Mangaraj’s blood oxygen level had dropped below 30 percent and he could not recover from it.

He was quoted as saying, “It is our fault to hold elections during the pandemic. The Congress candidate became a victim of the infection. There should be no election during the pandemic.”

Majhi added that the 17 April polling is likely to be postponed due to Mangaraj’s death.

(With inputs from PTI)

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