Patkura Polls: BJD prepares gameplan to checkmate BJP

Bhubaneswar: With a few days left for election to Patkura Assembly seat under the crucial Kendrapara Parliamentary Constituency, ruling BJD Supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today convened a high-level meeting with party senior leaders to formulate strategy for the ‘prestige battle’.

After the meeting, BJD candidate Sabitri Agrawalla’s son Sanjay Agrawalla, who was also present at the meeting, said there is no challenge to the ruling party in the constituency as people love and have so much admiration for the CM.

“People will definitely vote in favour of BJD and there is no doubt on it. My mother (Sabitri Agrawalla) will surely win the seat,” said Sanjay.

On the alleged intra-party rift in Garadpur and Marsaghai, Sanjay said there is no discontentment among the leaders and heavyweights Atanu Sabyasachi and Ranendra Pratap Swain have been given the charge of both these blocks, respectively.

“The party Supremo had earlier sought a report on organizational work at grassroots level in Patkura. The meeting was held to motivate the party leaders for the election,” he added.

Among others, senior leaders including Raja Swain, Kishore Tarai and Sushant Singh attended the meeting.

Earlier yesterday, the Odisha Congress had alleged that BJP and BJD are playing a fixed match for Patkura election, in the backdrop of CM Naveen’s support for BJP candidate Ashwini Vaishnav for Rajya Sabha polls.

Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati yesterday said both the parties have a secret understanding for the crucial election since the CM does not want to see Bijoy Mohapatra in the Assembly and Congress will take advantage of this.

In reaction, the BJP candidate said “There is no connection between BJD’s support to BJP Rajya Sabha candidate and Patkura Assembly polls. Both the parties are fighting for the election in their own ways. It is a battle for Swabhiman (prestige) in Patkura.”

The elections to Patkura Assembly segment will be held on July 20 while counting of votes will be held on July 24.  While senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra is contesting on BJP ticket for seat, Jayant Mohanty is the Congress candidate for the election.

Worth mentioning, election to the Assembly seat was earlier scheduled to be held in the fourth phase on April 29. However, the election was countermanded following the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwal on April 20. The ECI had again postponed the polls for 60 days due to cyclone FANI that hit the state on May 3.

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