Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) claimed the Bijepur Assembly constituency seat by defeating Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) by a huge margin. The BJD candidate Rita Sahu defeated her nearest rival Ashok Panigrahi of BJP by a margin of 41,933 votes as per figures after conclusion of all rounds of counting.

BJD’s Rita Sahu bagged 1,02,871 votes while Ashok Panigrahi of BJP got 60,938, announced returning officer Tapiram Majhi.

It was a loss of face for Congress as its candidate Pranaya Sahu could only manage to get 10,274 votes losing his deposit money.

Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik thanked the people of Bijepur for the overwhelming mandate.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of Bijepur Assembly constituency for having showered their blessings on BJD. Odisha is a peace loving State and the people will not stand for violence which is a threat to democracy,” said Patnaik.

The Bijepur by-poll was necessitated by the death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu last year.
Sahu’s wife Rita Sahu had contested the by-election from BJD ticket and people of the constituency reposed faith on party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, said a senior BJD leader.

“The victory is a reflection of both Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s popularity and the works done by my late husband Subal Sahu,” said Rita Sahu.

“We had not anticipated victory by such a huge margin. It is a triumph of good over evil. People of Bijepur have given a befitting reply to the political parties which perpetrated the attack on chief minister Naveen Patnaik,” said BJD’s Prasanna Acharya.

Acharya further stated that the victory of BJD clearly shows that people of Bijepur as well as in other parts of Odisha have tremendous faith on the welfare measures undertaken by the party under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik.

Celebrations had begun much before the official announcement of the bypoll results in BJD camp with activists thronging Naveen Nivas to greet their leader after the emphatic win.

Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda too congratulated Rita Sahu of BJD on her huge victory in the Bijepur by-election.

“May she live up to the faith voters have reposed in her and work for development of the area, to which I have a special affinity as it includes by ancestral village on my maternal side,” tweeted Panda.

The by-election was a litmus test for all the three major political parties—BJD, BJP and the Congress as it is being seen as a precursor to the 2019 general elections.