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Madhya Pradesh, Odisha bypolls: cheer for BJD, Congress

first_imgThe Opposition Congress on Wednesday retained both Mungaoli and Kolaras Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, while the ruling Biju Janata Dal wrested the Bijepur Assembly seat in Odisha from the Congress in the bypolls held last week.Congress’s Mungaoli candidate Brajendra Singh Yadav, who got 70,808 votes, beat his BJP rival Baisahab Yadav by a margin of 2,124 votes. In Kolaras, Congress candidate Mahendra Singh Yadav defeated BJP’s Devendra Kumar Jain by over 8,000 votes.The outcome of the two bypolls in M.P. is being seen as a possible pointer to the mood of the people ahead of the Assembly elections due later this year in the BJP-ruled State. The bypolls were necessitated due to the death of Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (Mungaoli) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras).Naveen upbeatIn Odisha, BJD candidate Ritarani Sahu won with an impressive margin of 41,933 votes. She bagged a total of 1,02,871 votes, while Ashok Panigrahi of the BJP came second with 60,938 votes and Pranaya Sahu of the Congress got only 10,274 votes, according to Returning Officer Tapiram Majhi.Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik termed the outcome a “rejection” of violence by the people of Bijepur. “Odisha is a peaceful State. The people will not stand for violence in a democracy,” he said.Mr. Patnaik was apparently hinting at a series of incidents in the run-up to the bypoll, including slippers being thrown at him during an election meeting in Bijepur and an attack on the brother of the State’s Labour Minister. The BJD had alleged BJP’s involvement in these incidents.Speaking to the media after her victory, Ms. Sahu said, “I will work for the all-round development of the people in our area and strive hard to fulfil my husband’s (former Bijepur legislator Subal Sahu) dream.”The Bijepur seat had fallen vacant after the death of Subal Sahu, a Congress MLA, in August last year. Ms. Sahu had joined the BJD a month after his demise.Mr. Panigrahi, a former BJD legislator, had joined the BJP in October last year.The poor show by the Congress, which had won the Bijepur seat in three consecutive elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014, was primarily due to the infighting in its State unit and late announcement of the party’s nominee.(with PTI inputs)last_img

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