Ramakanta Biswas

While the result of the recently-concluded by-election to Padampur Assembly constituency has sent the opposition parties into self-introspection mode, the BJP on Saturday brought a serious allegations against the ruling BJD. 

BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the State Assembly Jayanarayan Mishra alleged that BJD won the bypoll by striking a political deal with the Congress party. 

Only after striking a deal with Congress, Odisha CM went to the Assembly constituency for campaigning, the saffron party leader alleged.

“Ahead of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Padampur, a political deal was struck here in Bhubaneswar. Only after the Congress leadership promised to transfer all votes to BJD, the CM visited Padampur. As per the information I received, the big deal was struck (between BJD and Congress),” Mishra said. 

Asked about the amount of money at which the alleged deal was struck, Mishra said, “I have no knowledge about the amount and what the deal was all about. However, the CM visited Padampur after holding a discussion and striking a deal with the Congress party.”

In the Padampur bypoll, BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha emerged victorious by defeating BJP’s Pradip Purohit with a margin of 42,679 votes. 

Barsha, who is the daughter of late MLA Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha, garnered 1,20,807 votes while BJP’s Pradip Purohit got 78,128 votes. Congress candidate Satya Bhusan Sahu came distant third by securing a total of 3,594 votes.

Reacting to the allegations of Mishra, BJD vice-president Prasanna Acharya said, “After loss, many weird thoughts come to people’s mind. By saying this, we are insulting the voters.”

Similarly, senior Congress MLA Tara Bahinipati said, “It is natural for the Opposition leader to say this to hide face in the aftermath of the elections. But people need to understand, whether BJP has alliance with BJD or the Congress party has. The Congress party or its leaders never held discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.”

Reported by Jagdish Das, Harihar Chand and T. Gouri Shankar, OTV