Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

With the much-awaited day for the by-election to the Padampur assembly constituency in Bargarh district inching closer and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ) and Congress announcing the names of their candidates, all eyes are now set on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as it is yet to name its candidate for the polls. 

The delay is due to the fact that the conch party is yet to zero in on one of four possibilities- Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha’s wife, his two daughters and daughter-in-law. 

As per reports, former minister and Padampur MLA late Bijay’s wife Tilotama and daughter-in-law (nephew’s wife) Madhavi Singh are already in the race of contenders for getting BJD ticket. Meanwhile, the names of the late MLA’s elder daughter Barsha and younger daughter Kadambini have also cropped up as contenders for the same. 

Meanwhile, several members of Binjal society on Sunday went to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence in Bhubaneswar. The members clearly stated that if Bijay’s wife gets the ticket, the society will give full support. They also clarified that they would extend support to any one of Bijay’s daughters. The members also exuded confidence that BJD will emerge victorious. 

However, they also cleared the air that they won’t extend support to anyone else other than his (Bijay) family members. 

“We will be happy if they give the ticket to his (Bijay) wife for Padampur bypoll. If one of his daughters gets the ticket, we don’t have any issues. Any of his family members should get the ticket but our first preference is Tilotama Bariha,” said Hrushikesh Bariha, President of Binjal Society.

“We wish to extend full support to late Bijay’s wife and help her win the by-elections. We won’t support any other person apart from their family members. We have requested the same to CM Patnaik,” said Ashwini Bhoi, a member of Binjal Society.

Now, the BJD is at crossroads over selecting the candidate for the Padampur bypoll. While Tilotama, and Madhavi are in the race to get the ticket, the entry of Barsha and Kadambini has left the party in a confused state.  

Moreover, the resignation of Nayagarh’s Additional Collector Mahendra Badhei has made the situation more intriguing as it is being discussed that he is also in the race for the ticket.

Reported by Umesh Mohanty, Manoranjan Joshi (Padampur) and Hariharchand (Bhubaneswar)