Bhubaneswar:4/6/19 With yet another by election staring at them in less than a year-and-a-half span, voters in Bijepur , a predominantly rural agrarian belt in Odisha’s Bargarh, are thoroughly confused and disillusioned.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier on Sunday vacated the Bijepur Assembly seat and had retained Hinjili, thus paving the way for by poll in Bijepur. The BJD supremo had contested the recent Assembly elections, held along with Lok Sabha polls, from Hinjili in Ganjam district as well as Bijepur in west Odisha and emerged victorious from both the constituencies. The chief minister had contested from two assembly constituencies for the first time.
The assembly seat had gone to by-election was held on February 24, 2018 following the death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu. BJD’s Rita Sahu, widow of deceased Congress MLA Sahu, had defeated BJP nominee by over 41,000 votes. The assembly constituency had again gone to polls on April 18, 2019. BJD supremo and chief Minister had won the seat with thumping mandate.
While the opposition BJP have begun hurling accusation against Patnaik of having betrayed the people of the western region, the electors are visibly disillusioned over yet another election taking place in their region.
“By resigning from Bijepur Assembly constituency, Naveen Patnaik has simply betrayed the people of western Odisha,” BJP national secretary and newly-elected Lok Sabha member from Bargarh, Suresh Pujari, said.
Senior BJP leader and former minister, Jayanarayan Mishra had also lashed out at the chief minister for his decision. “It is diffucult to understand why Naveen Patnaik chose to contest from Bijepur and decided to vacate the seat now,” Mishra, an MLA from Sambalpur, said.
Accusing Patnaik of cheating the people of western Odisha for years, Mishra said the special package announced by the chief minister before his resignation from Bijepur seat was nothing but a trick to hoodwink the people of the region.
Patnaik had on May 30 announced a Rs 1,330-crore package, including plans to provide pucca houses to 34,000 households in the assembly constituency.