Rashmi Ranjan

Dealing a huge blow to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Dhamnagar by-election by a margin of 9,881 votes. With this, the Saffron party has also put a check on the BJD’s trend of winning bypolls since 2019. 

The BJP’s candidate Suryavanshi Suraj, son of former sitting MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi whose demise necessitated the bypoll, polled 80351 votes followed by BJD’s choice Abanti Das 70470, Congress’s pickup Baba Harekrushna Sethi 3561 and independent candidate Rajendra Das 8153. From the very first round of the counting, Suraj continued to lead.  

The party workers celebrated the victory by distributing sweets and bursting crackers. 

Dhamnagar has been regarded as the citadel of the BJP since it won twice in the recent past-Manmohan Samal in 2004 and Bishnu Charan Sethi in 2019. 

But considering the winning trend of the ruling dispensation, it was discussed in the political corridors that the party might continue the charishma here too. But it received a setback when, BJP’s Suryavanshi Suraj came victorious. According to political analysts, the party had to pay the price for ignoring its leader Rajendra Das, who fought the election as an independent candidate. 

The election to Dhamnagar by-election was held on November 3. While the constituency has around 2,38,417 voters including 1,23.038 males, 1,15,346 females and 33 transgenders, only  66.13 % voters turned out at 252 booths to cast votes. The counting began at 8.00 am on 14 tables in 18 rounds.