Campaign ends for by-polls in Balasore and Tirtol
Bhubaneswar: The high-pitch campaigning in the by-elections to two Assembly segments of Odisha came to an end on Sunday evening, 48 hours before the polling on Tuesday. The by-elections were necessitated due to the deaths of Balasore BJP MLA Madan Mohan Dutta and Tirtol BJD MLA Bishnu Charan Das.
Odisha’s three major political parties – the ruling BJD and Opposition Congress and BJP – have vigorously campaigned seeking votes for their respective candidates.
BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik addressed two virtual rallies. Many ministers and MLAs of the BJD also campaigned for the party candidates.
Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi extensively campaigned in both the seats for BJP candidates.
The by-elections are a prestige issue for both the BJD and the BJP. While BJD was holding the Tirtol seat, BJP candidate had won the Balasore seat in the 2019 Assembly elections.
Though the outcome of the byelections is not expected to make much difference, still leaders of all the three major political parties launched a marathon campaign during the last few days to win the polls.
Apart from the high voltage campaign by the three major political parties – BJD, BJP and Congress – the campaign by 80-year-old Benudhar Barik (Ind) for Balasore seat has drawn a lot of interest.
While BJP has fielded Manas Mohan Dutta, son of former MLA Madan Mohan Dutta in Balasore, BJD has fielded Bijay Shankar Das, son of former MLA Bishnu Charan Das, to contest the byelection in Tirtol with an eye to garner sympathy votes and win the elections.
Congress has fielded Mamata Kundu in Balasore and Himanshu Bhushan Mallik will fight the election in Tirtol.