Odisha continues to remain in poll mode

first_imgOdisha continues to remain in poll mode even though a month has passed since the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections were held in the State simultaneously in four phases in April.Elections were to be held for two Assembly seats — Patkura and Bijepur — and four Rajya Sabha berths in the State. Four Biju Janata Dal members of the Upper House of Parliament have contested and won the recent Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.The Patkura Assembly constituency was first scheduled to go to the polls on April 29. However, polling was adjourned following the death of BJD nominee Bed Prakash Agarwalla on April 20. Mr. Agarwalla’s wife Savitri Agarwalla filed the nomination as a BJD candidate when polling date was scheduled for May 19.Polling in Patkura was deferred again due to Cyclone Fani that devastated many coastal districts on May 3. The Election Commission of India is likely to announce the date of polling for the constituency shortly.On the other hand, the Bijepur Assembly seat in western Odisha has already been vacated by Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik. The bypoll will be held in Bijepur within six months after the ECI announces the schedule. Mr. Patnaik had won from two Assembly segments — Bijepur and Hinjili — in south Odisha.The Bijepur seat will witness a triangular contest involving the three major parties — the BJD, the BJP and the Congress. A triangular contest is also likely in the Patkura seat.Lobbying for seatsMeanwhile, lobbying has started in the BJD for the Rajya Sabha seats that were to fall vacant before completion of the term. While Rajya Sabha members Anubhav Mohanty and Achyuta Samanta have got elected from Kendrapara and Kandhamal Lok Sabha seats, two other members of the Upper House — Pratap Keshari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik — have got elected to the State Assembly from Aul and Khandapada seats.While the BJD, with 112 legislators in the 147-member Assembly, is certain to bag three of the four seats easily, election to the fourth seat will be crucial since the BJP, which has become the main Opposition party, does not have the required numbers to win a single seat comfortably. The BJP has won 23 seats in the Assembly and Congress has nine.last_img

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