Naveen Patnaik-led BJD wins both Assembly byelections in Odisha

Published : November 10, 2020 23:19 IST

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Photo: PTI

Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has emerged victorious in both the Assembly seats in the State where byelections were held on November 3.

In Odisha, Bharatiya Janata Dal candidates won by comfortable margins in Balasore and Tirtol Assembly constituencies, defeating their nearest rivals from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Swarup Das won from Balasore with a margin of 13,351 votes while Bijay Shankar Das won by 41,703 votesin Tirtol. The Congress candidates finished third in both the seats.

As polling was conducted amid COVID-19 restrictions, the voter turnout in Balasore and Tirtol was slightly less than the turnout in the 2019 general elections. Balasore recorded 70.69 per cent voter turnout and Tirtol registered 69.66 per cent.

The byelections were held following the deaths of Madan Mohan Dutta of the BJP in Balasore and Bishnu Charan Das of the BJD in Tirtol earlier this year.

While the BJD fielded Bishnu Charan Das’ son Bijay Shankar Das as its candidate in Tirtol, the BJP,fielded Madan Mohan Dutta’s son Manas Ranjan Dutta in Balasore. The Congress fielded first-timers in both the seats: Mamata Kundu in Balasore and Himanshu Bhushan Mallick in Tirtol.

During its campaign, the BJD sought votes by highlighting the achievements of the Naveen Patnaik government and the BJP banked on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and policies.

Senior leaders of all the three parties extensively campaigned in both constituencies. Naveen Patnaik addressed virtual rallies. At the end of the day, Patnaik’s popularity helped his party retain Tirtol and wrest Balasore from the BJP.

Naveen Patnaik thanked the people of Balasore and Tirtol for exercising their franchise during the pandemic times. “It’s your victory. The BJD is always committed to your development and wellbeing,” he tweeted. He congratulated the winners and thanked party workers for reaching out to the people and winning their hearts.

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