Mrunal Manmay Dash

A much newer ‘Gundaraj’ theory has brought both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) face to face to lock horns ahead of the Padampur bypoll.

Allegations and counter-allegations on death threats and hooliganism dominated the campaign trail on Wednesday.

While BJP candidate Pradip Purohit broke down in a press conference while describing his harrowing experience when he was allegedly attacked by BJD goons, BJD MLA Sushant Singh alleged he has been issued death threats by goons supported by BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra.

“I was at a meeting at a village in Paikmal when some goons of Minister Naba Das grabbed the mic and tried to attack me on the stage. The locals jumped into action and saved me from being beaten by the goons,” Purohit alleged while wiping his tears.

Not only this, Purohit also alleged that the BJD demolished homes of BJP members and is trying to depress the voters by threatening them with life. “The police aren't doing anything in this matter as well,” he alleged.

While Naba Das could not be contacted for comments on the allegations, BJD MLA Debesh Acharya refuted the accusations. Speaking to reporters, Acharya said, “The attack theory is laughable. This is a ploy by the BJP to mislead the Padampur voters by playing emotional card.”

On the other hand, BJD leader and former Odisha Minister Sushant Singh alleged that the BJP is trying to kill him. Addressing a public gathering under Padampur Assembly constituency, Singh said, “The goons of BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra have been issuing death threats on facebook. But I will never budge as I do not fear death.”

To which Jayanarayan Mishra replied: “Singh himself is involved in criminal activities. And why would anybody want to kill him? He is not that important to anybody. People of the undivided Sambalpur district know who the criminals are. This will be reflected in the bypoll.”

While goondaism is taking all the limelight in Padampur, primary issues like, health, education and infrastructure seem to have gone backstage.