Bhubaneswar: Putting an end to all speculations, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik this afternoon made the much-awaited announcement –his party’s candidate for the Bijepur Assembly seat-Rita Sahu.
“Rita Sahu will be the Biju Janata Dal candidate for the Bijepur election. I am indebted to the people of Bijepur for their affection and regard that they have shown to me and I intend to keep Bijepur constituency as focus area for welfare and development,” stated Patnaik addressing newsmen at his residence-Naveen Nivas.
While the Congress has named Dillip Panda as its candidate for the Bijepur by poll, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition party in the State is yet to announce its candidate.
The Election Commission of India has fixed September 30 as the last date for filing of nomination for the by poll, counting of votes will be held on October 24, 2019.
Bijepur will be witnessing a third electoral battle in less than two years since 2018 After the sudden demise of former Congress MLA Subal Sahu following an illness, the ruling BJD by fielding his widow Rita Sahu won the Bijepur bypoll with a respectable number of votes.
Rita garnered 1, 02,871 votes in 2018 and had defeated her nearest rival Ashok Panigrahi of BJP by 41,933 votes.
In the last elections BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik had contested from two seats Bijepur and Hinjili and had won both with record number of votes.
The seat fell vacant after Patnaik resigned the seat in June last while retaining the Hinjili seat in Ganjam district that made the by poll for Bijepur seat inevitable.