Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday announced dates for by-poll to three Lok Sabha and two Assembly constituencies in Rajasthan and West Bengal but there was no mention of Bijepur bypoll giving rise to an intense war of words between the ruling BJD and the Opposition parties.
While the BJD criticised the BJP government alleging that the EC is delaying the Bijepur bypoll due to pressure from the Centre, the BJP termed the allegations as baseless.
The continuous delay in by-elections to Bijepur constituency has raised many eyebrows. The BJP is putting pressure on the EC to delay the bypoll as it is not yet prepared and knows that they will have to bite the dust in the bypoll, said BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra.
"Fearing defeat in Bijepur, the BJP is trying its best to delay the bypoll," alleged Patra.
However, the BJP said that the party has nothing to do with the delay. "The EC will decide the dates for the bypoll, we are not the authority to decide on it," said BJP general secretary, Prithviraj Harichandan.
Taking a jibe at the the BJD over the claims that the party is ready for the bypoll, Harichandan said holding back election to Bijepur will help those who are not ready.
“The BJD leaders have been claiming that they are all prepared for the by-election. In such case, the party should not be worried about the delay,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress lashed out at both the BJD and the BJP over the incessant delay in Bijepur bypoll.
"Both the parties are not confident of their position in the Constituency and vehemently delaying the bypoll dates," alleged Congress leader Sarat Rout.