BJD, BJP & Cong bracing up to finalise candidate for Bijepur bypoll

Bhubaneswar: With the announcement of the date for the by-election to Bijepur assembly seat in Odisha, the three main political parties including the ruling BJD are bracing up to finalise candidates and fine-tune their strategy.

Bijepur assembly seat in Western Odisha’s Bargarh district was vacated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as he retained Hinjili segment, his home turf in Ganjam district. Patnaik had won both from Hinjili and Bijepur seat in 2019 Assembly election.

By-election to the Bijepur seat will be held on October 21. The ruling BJD has already formed a four-memberelection coordination committee comprising Niranjan Pujari, Sushant Singh, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo and Sanjay Dasburmafor the by-poll, while BJP and Congress have also initiated the process for candidate selection.

BJD’s election coordination committee will meet shortly and discuss potential candidates and the final selection will be made by the party president Naveen Patnaik, Dasburma said. “We will tell the party president about the hopes and aspirations of the people of Bijepur. The final decision will be taken by him,” he said.

The strategy to be adopted for the by-election will also be discussed threadbare at the meeting, he said. Asserting that the BJD has always been fightingby-elections seriously and winning, the former state minister said this time also the party is optimistic about victory as the people of Bijepur have full faith in BJD. Senior leader and minister Sushant Singh said the BJD chief will announce the candidate on the basis of winability.

On its part, BJP also maintained that the party is fully prepared for the by-election and it will name the candidate much before nomination. “We are fully prepared for the by-poll for which we started preparations much earlier. Names of prospective candidates will be sent to Delhi and party’s Parliamentary Board will finalise the candidate, said BJP’s Odisha unit president Basanta Panda.

Panda said the BJP will go to the people by highlighting local issues and the need for development of the area. “We will certainly emerge victorious. We believe that our party will surely win as we will highlight local issues,”Panda said.

Senior Congress leader and MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said the party has already set up a committee headed by Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra for Bijepur by-polls. “The people will this time vote for Congress as Patnaik has betrayed them by opting to retain Hinjili assembly segment and vacating Bijepur seat,” Bahinipati said. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik said the party will fight the by-election with fullsteam in order to emerge victorious.

(PTI)

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