BJD concedes that it is likely to ‘lose vote share’ in Bijepur bypoll

Bargarh: As BJD, BJP and Congress gear up for a triangular showdown in the bypoll in Bijepur Assembly constituency on October 21, senior BJD leader and government’s chief whip Pramila Mallick today accepted that that the ruling party may not get as many votes in the upcoming bypoll as during the last elections.

The Biju Janata Dal will win the Bijepur bypoll by a margin of over 30,000 to 35,000 votes and might lose around 22,000 votes this time around, Mallick said.

It may be noted that CM Naveen had won the 2019 general polls in Bijepur with 1,10,604 votes against his nearest rival, BJP’s Sanat Garthia who got 53,482 votes.

“Our party’s election campaign is running very well with leaders leaving no stone unturned to reach out to every doorstep. Voters have also made up their mind to vote for us in huge numbers,” said Mallick.

Senior BJD leader and former ministers Snehangini Chhuria and Sanjay Das Burma today went on a campaign spree by spearheading public rallies in Barpalli, Gaisilet and Bijepur blocks of the constituency.

“People of Bijepur have promised to repose faith in the government once again because they want to keep the developmental engine running in the region,” said Das Burma.

On the other hand, union minister Dharmendra Pradhan too kicked off the campaign trail for BJP in the Gaisilet block of the constituency. Campaigning for party candidate Sanath Gartia, Pradhan launched a scathing attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, accusing him of betraying the people of Bijepur by resigning from the seat he had won in the April Legislative Assembly election.

“The people of Bijepur had committed a mistake by electing Patnaik. Why the chief minister retained Hinjili and quit Bijepur?” Pradhan asked.

“What is Patnaik’s intention in retaining Hinjili and quitting Bijepur? This indicated that the chief minister love Hinjili and not Bijepur. He has betrayed the people of Bijepur,” Pradhan alleged while addressing an another election meeting at Talapali.

The union minister pointed out that Patnaik had announced that he would ensure overall development of Bijepur during the 2018 by-poll. But, the basic facilities like healthcare, irrigation and drinking water supply are not so far available to the people.

Apart from Pradhan, Bargarh Lok Sabha MP Suresh Pujari, state BJP president Basant Panda, Loisingha MLA Mukesh Mahaling, ex-MLA KV Singhdeo, Pradeep Purohit, BJP state vice president Aswini Sarangi and others also sought support for the party nominee.