Bijepur Bypoll Turf: A Battle of Two Narratives

After somehow managing to keep a lid on internal dissent ahead of the Bijepur bypoll, parties are now engaged in blame game and mud slinging

Bargarh: The erstwhile Congress bastion Bijepur has become a battleground of the resurgent BJP while the BJD is determined to win the Assembly seat for the third time in 20 months. Still, the grand old party is also leaving no stone unturned to regain its lost ground.

Of all, the Bijepur fight seems to be a battle that hinges on BJP’s allegations of betrayal by the Odisha CM himself and BJD’s KALIA and Mo Sarkar schemes. Besides, Congress’ farm loan waiver promise also seems like a competitive poll plank against BJD’s development claims and BJP’s narrative that the Naveen government has totally failed to deliver.

Amid this high voltage election campaign by political parties ahead of the bypoll, BJP National Vice-President Baijayant Panda on Sunday reached the Assembly constituency to attend a slew of public meetings and campaign for party candidate Sanath Gartia.

BJP National Vice-President Baijayant Panda

On the sidelines of his campaign trail, the BJP VP today said, “A few months ago (during the general polls), the chief minister had himself promised to look after the development of Bijepur if he gets elected. He had earlier promised the same when his party candidate (Rita Sahu in February 2018 bypoll after the untimely demise of her husband and three-time Bijepur MLA of Congress late Subal Sahu) was contesting from the Assembly constituency. People believed the CM and extended their support, but they are now disappointed,” said Panda.

Instead of keeping his promise, CM Naveen ran away from Bijepur. He should have retained the seat and ensured development of the region. The BJD should now know that the people of Bijepur can no longer be fooled with false promises and a change is the need of the hour, he said adding, “If BJP candidate Sanath Gartia wins the bypoll, Bijepur will witness an all-round development.”

BJD Candidate & Former Bijepur MLA Rita Sahu

BJD candidate Rita Sahu, along with other party leaders, ministers and former ministers, are also going through a tight campaigning schedule. Speaking to the media, Rita said, “People are excited and happy with the performance of the BJD government. We will definitely win the Bijepur Assembly seat.”