Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD’s Rita Sahu won the Bijepur Assembly by-election with a record margin of 97,990 votes. She was polled more votes than what the BJD president and Chief Minister had polled from the seat in April. Patnaik had polled 1,10,166 votes while Rita was polled was 1,35,957.
The winning margin of Rita in Bijepur by-election is the highest in the history of Odisha Assembly elections. The previous highest margin of 94,555 was by Bishwa Bhushan Harichandan in 2000 Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Patnaik spoke to Rita over phone and congratulated her for her historic win in the byelection.
BJP’s Sanat Gartia was polled 37,967 votes while Dilip Panda of Congress managed to bag a mere 5,876 votes. Of total 24 service votes, 16 were found valid. BJD and BJP got seven each while Congress got two service votes.
Counting of votes for Bijepur Assembly by-election began at 8 am amid tight security. A voter turnout of 78.96% was recorded in the by-poll held on Monday.
It was the third polling held in two years to elect an MLA from Bijepur segment in Bargarh district. The politically- sensitive segment had first witnessed a by-poll in February 2018 necessitated due to death of then sitting MLA Subal Sahu in August 2017 followed by the Assembly election in April this year.
The fresh bypoll was necessitated after Chief Minister Patnaik vacated the seat. Patnaik, who was elected from Bijepur and his traditional Hinjili, has retained the latter, from where he has been winning since 2000.