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Cyclone Fani: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik urges EC to postpone bypoll in Patkura

"I am going to see the Chief Election Commissioner about postponing the election in the Patkura assembly seat in case the cyclone hits Odisha," Naveen Patnaik said.

Cyclone Fani: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik urges EC to postpone bypoll in Patkura

Bhubaneswar: With the IMD forecasting very severe cyclonic storm Fani likely hit the Odisha coast on May 3 night, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said he would urge the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) to postpone polling in Patkura assembly segment.

"I am going to see the Chief Election Commissioner about postponing the election in the Patkura assembly seat in case the cyclone hits Odisha," Patnaik told reporters.

The ECI had earlier fixed May 19 as the date for the polling in Patkura assembly segment under Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat following death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwal on April 20.

As per the original schedule, the polling in Patkura was supposed to be held in the fourth phase on April 29. Though the voters of Patkura have exercised their franchise for the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat on April 29, the polling for the assembly elections has been adjourned till May 19.

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Meanwhile, BJD candidate for Patkura Assembly seat, Sabitri Agarwal, wife of late Bed Prakash Agarwal, Tuesday filed her nomination at the office of the Sub-Collector in Kendrapara.

The opposition BJP has already fielded its veteran leader Bijoy Mohapatra from Patkura while Congress has named Jayant Mohanty as its nominee in this politically sensitive assembly segment.

Mohapatra, who is a known bete noire of Patnaik in Odisha politics, said: "It is part of Patnaik's conspiracy not to hold elections in Patkura. Patnaik wants to avoid polls in Patkura as he knows that BJD will face defeat."

Mohapatra also threw an open challenge to Patnaik asking him to contest in Patkura assembly segment.

"Instead of doing conspiracy in Bhubaneswar, Patnaik should contest against me in Patkura. Above all, Kendrapara was his father's 'Karma Bhumi'," Mohapatra said.

Mohapatra, a four-time MLA and a former minister in the Biju Patnaik cabinet, has been out of the state assembly since 2000 after Patnaik denied him a BJD ticket then.