Ajit Mangaraj, who was Congress' candidate for Pipli by-poll scheduled to be held on April 17, succumbed to severe COVID-19 pneumonia on Wednesday. Mangaraj (52), a businessman, had tested positive for the virus on April 10 and was admitted to Bhubaneshwar's Apollo Hospital.
"He was receiving treatment for Covid-19 and had turned critical for past some days. His family members were informed accordingly," Dr Jyoti Prakash Parija, assistant medical superintendent of Apollo Hospital said.
The by-poll to the constituency will be held on Saturday along with the fifth phase of the assembly elections in West Bengal. The by-election to Pipili was necessitated after the death of the sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy on October 4 last year.