Polls Lurk Again

The postponed election for the Patkura Assembly constituency and by-election to the Bijepur Assembly seat from which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik resigned on Sunday while retaining the Hinjili seat, may be held simultaneously, according to political observers.

Besides, vacancies of four Rajya Sabha seats after their incumbents were elected either to the Lok Sabha or to the State Legislative Assembly in the recently held general elections, may also be filled up through by-elections as soon as possible.

The Election Commission may announce poll schedule for the Patkura Assembly constituency at any time.

Poll in this seat was postponed following the death of veteran leader and BJD candidate Bed Prakash Aggarwal. When the date for election was set for May 19, BJD fielded late Aggarwal’s wife Sabitri Devi from Patkura.
But the wide-spread damages done by the FANI in the coastal districts forced the BJD to approach the Election Commission for postponement again, which was accepted by the poll panel.

The other major candidate confronting the BJD in Patkura is veteran politician Bijoy Mohapatra from the BJP.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was candidate from Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh district. In both constituencies he won with appreciable margin. But he had to forgo one seat and it was Bijepur where by-election may be held soon.

It is speculated by political observers that the EC may opt for simultaneous elections at Bijepur and Patkura.

Notably, after the death of Subal Sahu, Congress legislator from Bijepur, BJD had fielded his wife, Rita sahu as candidate in the following by-election. She won but had to vacate the seat in favour of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who fought from the seat along with the Hinjili seat, also won with decent margin, marginally less than the margin he won by in Hinjili.

Now, the voters of Bijepur will have to face election for an MLA candidate for the third time in a year.

BJD Rajya Sabha Members Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Pratap Keasri Deb have been elected to the State Legislative Assembly. Similarly, another two Rajya Sabha Members from BJD, Achyut Samant and Anubhav Mohanty, have been elected to the Lok Sabha.

After they resign from the Rajya Sabha, all four RS seats from Odissa will fall vacant following which will start the process of by-election to the four seats.

Now, there is a long queue of aspirants for Bijepur and the four RS seats. The decision solely depends on BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik.

Besides BJD, the Congress and the BJP are also to be two main contenders for Bijepur.

Most interesting to be seen is who all these parties are going to field as their candidates despite the political supremacy the BJD enjoys in view of numbers.

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