BJD Heavyweights’ Bijepur Campaign During Durga Puja Sparks Political Mudslinging

Bargarh: As Durga Puja revelry gathers pace, the entire State dips in festive mood but some heavyweight leaders of the BJD, especially from the coastal areas, have reportedly skipped their Durga puja celebration for party campaigning in bypoll-bound Bijepur of Bargarh district. The ruling party’s such strategy to win the bypoll by burning the midnight oil has not gone down well among the opposition leaders.

According to sources, some leaders of the BJD including Prafulla Mallick, Padmanabh Behera and Snehangini Chhuria visited different puja pandals and held public meetings with party workers in Bijepur while skipping Durga Puja celebration with their families and friends.

Following the reports, Opposition leaders have alleged that the BJD leaders are camping in Bijepur during this festive season with the aim to regain the trust of the voters after losing confidence as they have cheated the voters twice in the past.

“The Biju Janata Dal has cheated the voters of Bijepur for two consecutive terms. That is why some of its leaders especially from the coastal areas have skipped the Dussehra celebration. They are trying very hard to influence the voters of Bijepur to win the by-poll,” alleged BJP’s State vice president Samir Mohanty.

Even as the State Congress criticised the BJD for it, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik, however, praised BJD leaders saying, “They are doing their duty and we should learn from them.”

BJD, on the other hand, claimed that it has not taken the by-election lightly. “Election is election and we should not take it for granted. Some of our leaders were there (Bijepur) and some will again go there after the Dussehra. Everyone will do her/his duty as per the instruction of the party supremo,” informed Minister Padmanabh Behera.