Ramakanta Biswas

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday hinted at the conduct of the general elections to Odisha Legislative Assembly earlier than the schedule in the State.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Bhubaneswar, Pradhan said he has heard that the general polls may be held early in the State.

Pradhan said this while replying to a question of media persons that whether the Padampur bypoll result will have any impact on the general election slated to be held in 2024. 

"Many days left for the general elections. Several issues will emerge. As per democractic norms, parties will fight the elections with their agendas. We had also fought in 2019 and now we are the major Opposition party in the State," Pradhan said.  

He continued, “We are fighting with all our responsibilities and agendas. I strongly believe that the people of Odisha have immense faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the development of the State, and we will do so."

Speaking about the result in Padampur, the Union Minister said, “What we had thought has not materialised. However, we accept the mandate in Padampur. Boasting is natural for the winner. However, they must keep it in mind that the BJP has garnered 78,000 votes.”

Reacting to the statement of the Union Minister, BJD vice-president Prasanna Acharya said, “The Union Minister might have referred to plan of the Centre to conduct early parliamentary elections. It is also possible that he said this to encourage party workers after loss of BJP in Padampur bypoll.”

Reported by Harihar Chand, OTV