Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout today suggested the name of Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya as party in-charge for the upcoming Bijepur bypoll.

Speaking to media men, Rout said Acharya belongs to Bijepur constituency and is well-acquainted with the area. Had he not been elected to the Rajya Sabha, he would have been the party's candidate, he said.

The bypoll has been necessitated by the death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu. Subal Sahu’s family joined BJD following which his wife, Rita Sahu has been named as the party candidate for the bypoll.

Answering to a media query on whether sympathy votes would be a determining factor in BJD's prospect in Bijepur, Rout said, "The world lacks sympathy but good leaders are never exempted from it. They get people's sympathy for their good deeds. BJD will win Bijepur seat on the basis of the developmental works it has done in the area."

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Meanwhile, discontent BJD leader from Bijepur, Pravat Aditya today endorsed Rita Sahu’s candidature after meeting Naveen Patnaik. "We are abiding by the decision of the party president. We will extend our full support to late Subal Sahu's wife," Aditya said.

Earlier in the morning today, senior leaders of BJD met at the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to discuss the 'game-plan' for the Bijepur bypoll.

Senior BJD leaders Prasanna Acharya, Prafulla Mallik, Debi Mishra, Pranab Prakash Das and Prasant Nanda among others were present at the meeting.

Though the State Election Commission is yet to announce the date for the Bijepur bypoll, both BJP and BJD are letting no stone unturned to woo voters. However, Congress is still on the hunt for a suitable candidate.

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