Bhubaneswar: Three days ahead of the by-election to Odisha’s Pipili assembly segment, Congress candidate Ajit Mangaraj on Wednesday passed away while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a private hospital in the Odisha capital.
Mangaraj had tested positive for the deadly virus on Saturday. He was then admitted to the Apollo Hospitals in Bhubaneswar in a critical condition.
Apollo Hospitals PRO Rakesh Ray confirmed the news. “He was admitted to the hospital on April 7 and diagnosed with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. The patient was under the treatment of a multidisciplinary team of doctors from specialities, including critical care, cardiology and pulmonary medicine, in COVID ICU where all necessary life-saving support, including non-invasive ventilation, was extended to save his life. After bravely battling the infection for the past seven days, Mangaraj succumbed to the disease around 4 pm,” he added.
BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had wished for his early recovery a couple of days ago.
Mangaraj was picked for the bypoll by the Congress despite having lost his deposit in the 2019 assemble elections.
With his sudden demise, the by-election to the Pipili seat is likely to be deferred or countermanded.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted to mourn his demise.
Mangaraj’s mortal remains were consigned to flames at Satyanagar crematorium in the evening.