Pipili: With the Pipili by-elections coming closer, campaigning by the three important candidates is on a high and becoming aggressive day by day. The seat, which became vacant due to the untimely death of Biju Janata Dal stalwart Pradeep Maharathy, is witnessing a tri-polar contest that is leaning in favour of the Biju Janata Dal. While the two other candidates of the national parties are fighting to demonstrate their presence on the ground, the Biju Janata Dal is certain to retain the seat.
For the last few decades, Pipili constituency was nurtured by Pradeep Maharathy and his clout in the area was unparalleled. Being a localite and coming from a farmer family, Pradeep took care of the people of the constituency in the best possible manner. Because of his holding important portfolios at the state government and his proximity to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Pradeep could manage to bring exemplary development to the constituency. The present candidate, Rudra Maharathy, the able son of Pradeep, is fighting a battle that he is sure to win. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s leadership coupled with Pradeep Maharathy’s popularity will definitely result in the winning of the BJD candidate.
When we analyse the different aspects of the by-elections, we can see that the BJD is going to win a thumping majority and Rudra can break the records including of his father’s. The other important candidates in the race include Ashrit Patnaik of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Ajit Mangaraj of the Congress, both of whom have fought in the past and lost the elections. The legacy of Pradeep Maharathy and the sympathy factor in favour of Rudra will also add to the support base.
Like Balasore Sadar and Tirtol, the Biju Janata Dal is again going to win the Pipili by-elections due to the enchanting leadership of Naveen Patnaik. His popularity is because of his developmental work. Pipili has seen a tremendous development in the last few decades. Pipili farmers today are the reaping the benefits of this development. The mass movement in the shape of Women Self Help Groups has helped thousands of women in Pipili to be self reliant and add to their economic prosperity.
Pipili became a separate constituency in the year 1951. Consisting of two Blocks – Delanga and Pipili, it has about One lakh seven thousand voters. While there have been sixteen elections for this constituency, the seventeenth election will be held on the 17th of this month. While the congress and others won the seat till the year 2000, from then onwards it has been the seat for the Biju Janata Dal. The voters of Pipili have elected Pradeep Maharathy as their leader in 2000, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 elections. Maharathy was also elected as the MLA from Pipili during the 1985 and 1990 elections. Pradeep’s legacy is definitely going to play an important role here.
Another important factor in the by-elections is the selection of a youth and enthusiastic candidate by the Biju Janata Dal. It once again demonstrates that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s focus is on young generation. Rudra is having all the qualities that a youth leader should have as he has been in the shadow of his father for quite a few years now. Like his father, Rudra has also got a good following in the constituency for his people friendly activities. Especially, the youth of the area want Rudra Pratap to lead them like his father did.
Rudra is a young leader and for the last few years he has been actively taking part in social activities. While the best asset of Rudra is his young age, he is also well qualified. His higher qualification could come handy in serving the people of the area well. He has studied in prestigious institutions such as KIIT and The XIMB. His honed management skills can further accelerate the development agenda of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
If we see the other factors such as the competitors, we can definitely also say that this will be the sixth straight win for the Biju Janata Dal. Ashrit Patnaik who had contested the 2014 elections independently and lost, joined the saffron party and again lost in 2019. Though he received a good number of votes due to the Modi wave during the 2019 elections, this time there seems to be no wave in favour of the BJP.