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BJD not to hold rallies, campaign meets for May 13 Pipili by- polls: Patnaik

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 19: The ruling BJD in Odisha on Monday said it will not hold public rallies or campaign meetings ahead of the by-polls to the Pipili assembly segment on May 13 in the wake of the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The announcement in this regard was made by BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through a series of social media posts on twitter.

Naveen Patnaik

"BJD as a responsible party will not like to put the lives of people in danger. We contest elections to serve people. If the campaign has potential to endanger lives, I would earnestly appeal to political parties & @ECISVEEP to reconsider both the duration & method of campaigning," Patnaik tweeted.

"Every life is precious and I always consider people of Odisha as my family members. In this extremely serious COVID-19 situation amidst surge in cases in the country, BJD has decided not to hold public rallies," he added.

The ruling BJD''s announcement came a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi suspended all election campaigns in West Bengal.

Bring vaccine in open market says Odisha CM Patnaik in letter to PM ModiBring vaccine in open market says Odisha CM Patnaik in letter to PM Modi

The Pipili by-polls, which were originally scheduled to be held on April 17, was adjourned till May 13 following the demise of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj, who succumbed to COVID-19, on April 14.

Earlier in the day, the Election Commission issued a fresh notification, stating that polling will be held on May 13 between 7 am and 6 pm.

The election process shall be completed before May 18, the notification said.

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