Sitting Biju Janata Dal MLA and candidate in the Patkura Assembly seat Bed Prakash Agarwalla died at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. He had been undergoing medical treatment for the past few days.
The 82-year-old former Minister is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. Patkura is one of the seven Assembly segments under the Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat in coastal Odisha from where former BJD MP Baijayant Panda is seeking re-election as the BJP nominee.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled the death of Agarwalla, who was elected to the Assembly six times — four times from Kendrapara and twice from Patkura, in 2009 and 2014.
Describing the late leader as an able parliamentarian and administrator, Mr. Patnaik conveyed his deep sympathy to the bereaved family.
“His death is a great loss for all of us. His organisational ability and dedication for the welfare of general public will be remembered forever. He was also a close associate of Biju Babu,” he said.
The Patkura Assembly election is likely to be countermanded in view of Agarwalla’s death. The Election Commission is likely to issue a fresh polling schedule. Among others, former Minister and BJP nominee Bijoy Mohapatra is in the fray in Patkura. He returned to the party recently.
Patkura was scheduled to go to the polls along with six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly seats on April 29.