With BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik beginning his electioneering on Thursday, the campaign for the by-election to the Bijepur Assembly constituency in Bargarh district gained momentum with the three major political parties trying to woo the voters in their favour.
The campaign for the by-poll, which will be held on October 21, will end by Saturday evening. The counting of votes will be held on October 24.
Patnaik appealed to the people to vote for BJD candidate Rita Sahu for an all-round development of the constituency.
The Chief Minister will continue his campaign till Friday. A number of Ministers and senior BJD leaders have been camping in Bijepur to ensure that the party retains the seat by a large margin of votes this time too.
BJP heavyweights also accelerated the pace of the party’s campaign by addressing a number of meetings across the constituency canvassing for party nominee Sanath Gadtia. These leaders included State president Basanta Panda, KV Singh Deo and MP Suresh Pujari.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is scheduled to reach Bijepur on Friday and campaign for the BJP till Saturday.
Basant Panda said, “Naveen Patnaik has betrayed the people of Bijepur by playing with their emotions. The voters will give a befitting reply to the BJD.”
However, the Congress camp appears to be demoralised even though the party leaders have been campaigning for their candidate Dillip Panda.
“We don’t have funds like Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik. We even cannot match the amount of posters and party flags they have put up for the campaign,” said senior Congress leader and Jatni MLA Suresh Kumar Routray, adding that it is “difficult” for the party to win the by-poll in view of the BJD’s dominant position.