Bhubaneawar, December 8: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday registered a spectacular victory in the Padampur Assembly seat bypoll with party candidate Barsha Singh Bariha trouncing her BJP rival Pradip Purohit with a staggering margin. The Congress’s nominee Satya Bhusan Sahu lost his deposit in the election.
Barsha, who got 1,20,807 votes, won the seat by 42,679 votes as Purohit secured 78,128 votes while Congress veteran and former three-time MLA, Satya Bhusan Sahu managed to get just 3,594 votes.
The vote share of BJD has increased to 58 per cent as compared to 41.29 per cent votes it had garnered in the 2019 polls. Despite its crushing defeat, the BJP, the State’s main Opposition force, got 37.51 per cent vote share against 38.45 per cent in 2019. The Congress could manage to get only 1.73 per cent votes this time. It had secured 16.25 per cent votes in the previous election.
The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of the sitting BJD MLA Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha. BJD had given ticket to his daughter Barsha, a 29-year-old lawyer to contest from the seat.
Retaining the Padampur seat in Bargarh was crucial for the regional party, especially after it lost the Dhamnagar bypoll to the BJP last month, which was its first defeat in any by-election since 2008.
Now, the spectacular victory in Padampur has come as a booster for the party in the run-up to the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections due in April-May 2024.
In his reaction after the BJD’s victory, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik slammed the BJP for launching scathing personal attacks against Barsha, a grief-stricken young woman, who had lost his father recently, during its campaign.
“Wining or losing in elections is a different matter. Since this is disrespect to all women, I went and stood with Barsha like a father, brother and friend,” said Patnaik in a video statement.
The Chief Minister also spoke to party candidate Barsha over telephone and congratulated her for this spectacular victory in Padampur.