The by-elections in the Pipili Assembly constituency in Odisha have been postponed after the death of Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj as a result of COVID-19.

The by-election was scheduled for Saturday April 17. This was necessitated by the death of BJD MP and former Minister Pradeep Maharathy, who also lost his life to COVID-19.

Mr. Mangaraj was facing an acute respiratory problem and had been admitted to a private hospital. He informed his supporters that he tested positive for the coronavirus via a Facebook message on Saturday.

Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum, Minister of Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Niranjan Patnaik expressed their condolences.

On Wednesday, Odisha crossed the 2,000 mark for the first time after the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.