Vikash Sharma

The Odisha government has transferred the Block Development Officers (BDOs) of Dhamnagar and Tihidi in Bhadrak district ahead of the crucial bypoll to Dhamnagar assembly constituency.

As per a notification, the Panchayati Raj & D.W Department has asked Bhadrak Collector to relieve Dhamnagar BDO Durga Charan Murmu and Tihidi BDO Basant Sahani immediately in view of the by-election in Dhamnagar Assembly constituency.

As per the notification, Laxmipur Tahsildar Banabihari Dinda will be posted as BDO in Dhamnagar while Kesinga Tahsildar Jyotirmaya Kar will join as Tihidi BDO. The Collectors of Koraput and Kalahandi have been requested to relieve the two OAS officers at the earliest.

It is pertinent to mention here that the office of Sub-Collector, Bhadrak on Friday issued a formal notification for bypoll to Dhamnagar Assembly constituency scheduled to be held on November 3, 2022.

The untimely demise of sitting BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi has necessitated the by-election.

As per the schedule, the last date for filing nominations by candidates is October 14. Candidates can file their nomination at the Block Development Office (BDO) between 11 am and 3 pm. Similarly, October 15 and October 17 have been scheduled as the date for scrutiny of nominations and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures, respectively.

The voting will be conducted on November 3 from 7 am to 6 pm. The counting of votes and announcement of results will be done on November 6, 2022.

Even though the nomination process has started, political parties have not announced their candidates for the bypoll yet. However, the three major political parties- BJD, BJP and the Congress-are now busy finalising their strategies.

The BJD leaders have started organising meetings on the pretext of padayatra to resolve internal fissures. It has also created problems for the BJD to finalise the name of its candidate. “BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik will take a decision on the candidate. But BJD is always ready at the ground level,” said Pranab Balbantray, BJD district observer.

The BJP, on the other hand, is reportedly planning to field Suryabansi Suraj, son of Bishnu Sethi, as the party's candidate for Dhamnagar by-election. “The way Bishnu Sethi and his son have adopted Dhamnagar, we hope that the people will bless us,” said Odisha BJP-in-charge D. Purandeswari.

The Congress has stated to finalise its candidate after discussing the same with the leaders and activists at the grassroots. “Congress is a national party and we will finalise candidate after discussing the matter will all stakeholders. We will fight to win,” said former PCC president Niranjan Pattnaik.