Three Union ministers and the national president of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha are among the 20 star campaigners for the Pipili by-election which is scheduled to be held on September 30, a functionary of the saffron party said.
The BJP’s list of star campaigners submitted at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) include Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railway Minister Ashiwini Vaishnaw and MoS Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs Bisweswar Tudu.
The national president of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha Vijay Pal Singh Tomar will also be campaigning for party candidate Ashrit Pattnaik.
BJP’s state president Samir Mohanty, national vice-president Baijayant Panda, Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi, state in-charge D Puramndeswari, national spokesperson Sambit Patra and other senior leaders of the saffron party will also participate in electioneering.
Campaigning for Pipili Assembly segment will begin from September 20 by adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and end 72 hours before polling.
The counting of votes will be held on October 3.
Though there are 10 candidates are in the fray, the contest is mostly confined among BJD candidate Rudrapratap Maharathy, BJP nominee Ashrit Pattnaik and Congress candidate Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra.
The by-poll to the assembly constituency was necessary due to the death of sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy in October last year.
The by-election to the Pipili assembly constituency was deferred thrice earlier.
Initially, it was scheduled on April 17, but was countermanded following the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj due to COVID-19, just three days before the poll date.
The polling date was later fixed on May 13, which was again rescheduled to May 16 in view of Eid-ul-Fitr festival. It was postponed again in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, officials said.
The Election Commission of India has allowed a maximum of 20 vehicles for electioneering by a candidate or a political party (excluding star campaigners) with 50 per cent of the capacity in each vehicle.
District Election Officers will be authorised to take appropriate measures to prevent crowding during voting and counting while maintaining social distancing and ensuring use of masks, sanitiser, thermal scanning and hand gloves as per COVID-19 protocol.