Bargarh: BJP's former Bargarh district president Narayan Sahu formally joined BJD at a party workers' conference in Bijepur today. He was accompanied by various mandal and booth level leaders.
After demise of Congress' Bijepur MLA Subal Sahu, his wife had joined the BJD and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced her as the candidate for the bypoll. Narayan was next to join the bandwagon.
On the other hand, BJD's Bijepur block president Radheshyam Mohapatra resigned from his post on Saturday. He was also not to be found in the induction event of the BJD.
"BJD is popular in each house, the party's victory is for sure. Our activists and members along with the voters are excited," said BJD MP Prasanna Acharya, who was present at the event.
"Members of the Sahu community, mostly leaders of the district and mandals, have resigned from their posts and have formally joined the BJD today. It is sure that people of the community will vote for BJD," said Narayan Sahu.
The two powerful parties of the State are busy inducting leaders from opposition parties and trying to win the trust of the people in Bijepur with promises of various development works.
After announcing a mega Rs 1250 crore-lift irrigation system for Bijepur, named as Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal System at a cost of Rs 1250 crore, the State government had accorded Notified Area Council (NAC) status to Bijepur town. Besides, the government had announced Rs 13.38 crore for two bridges and an electricity substation and disbursement of lakhs of rupees under Special Problem Fund to most panchayats.
The announcements have not gone well with the BJP. It has questioned source of the funds to be utilised for Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal System. BJP’s Paikmal MLA Pradeep Purohit had today alleged that a conspiracy is being hatched by Labour Minister Sushant Singh in land allotment for the establishment of an ethanol plant in Bargarh district.
“Minister Sushant Singh is creating hurdles in establishment of the proposed plant by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) at Baulsingha in Bargarh. Even Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is keeping mum on the issue as Singh is one of his trusted men in the party,” said Purohit.
“We request the CM to allot the required land for the project for the development of the region in the interest of the people of Odisha,” he added.
Meanwhile, minister Singh refuted the allegations of the BJP and said, “It has become a tendency of the BJP to bring in baseless and false allegations; it is targeting me now as the Bijepur bypoll is on the cards." Singh dared Purohit that if the elegations are proved he will take retirement from politics.
Even though the Election Commission is yet to announce the date for the Bijepur by-election, both the Central and State government are set for the development of Bargarh district. Both are trying to woo the voters amidst the party switching by leaders.