Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following BJD’s resounding victory in Padampur bypoll, political analysts have started permutations and combinations about its impact on the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections in Odisha.

After Dhamnagar Assembly bypoll debacle, the ruling party was on back foot. However, it bounced back strongly to script a thumping victory in the Padampur bypoll. BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha defeated BJP’s Pradip Purohit with a margin of over 42,000 votes in the recently concluded bypoll. It was the much needed booster dose for the party.

However, as per some political analysts, the convincing victory will not only help boost the confidence of the party workers but also have a greater impact on the results of 2024 general elections. It will only assuage the anti-incumbency factor and the growing discontent within the party to some extent.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik played a masterstroke to win the confidence of voters by directly campaigning for the party during the Padampur election. However, it will not be feasible for Naveen to campaign directly for the party candidates in all the seats. Hence, it will not be possible for the ruling party to come up with flying colours all the time.

Some of the experts are also of the opinion that the fight will be mainly between BJD and BJP in the coming days as the Congress vote bank base is gradually waning.

Bolstered by Padampur result, BJD is upbeat about their chances for the 2024 general elections.

“Padampur result will definitely have an impact on 2024 general elections. It’s like a semifinal before the final. People have accepted Naveen and they will continue their support to the party,” said senior BJD leader Debi Prasad Mishra.

On the other hand, the BJP and the Congress are of the opinion that the bypoll result will have no impact on the bigger canvas.

"BJD has retained its seat in Padampur. It will have no impact on 2024 elections. BJP will give a tough fight to the ruling party in upcoming elections," said a BJP leader.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati said that both BJD and BJP have bonhomie between them.

“BJP and BJD are fighting in the State. But both parties have bonhomie in the Centre and it is not a good sign for democracy. Padampur result will not influence the upcoming elections,” said Bahinipati.

Meanwhile, Naveen slammed BJP for disrespecting women during Padampur campaign. He also rapped the Union Ministers for misguiding the people of Padampur. He urged the Centre to work in tandem with the State government for the development of Odisha.

Responding to Naveen’s allegations, BJP said that there is no place for hypocrisy in politics.

“The State government is not trying to coordinate with the Centre. The Chief Minister is only bringing allegations through video message. There is no place for hypocrisy in politics,” said senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari.