Jagatsinghpur: Amidst the high pitched campaign going on for Tirtol by-poll, one thing is apparently clear that the Biju Janata Dal has an edge over its rivals and the result will not be any surprise.
Maintaining its hold over the constituency, the party appears to retain the seat for the fourth time in a row. While the developmental works carried out in the area and the popularity of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik continue to influence the voters, the sympathy factor for Bijay Sankar Das, son of veteran leader Bishnu Das, is also likely to work in favour of him.
Eight of the nine candidates, who are in fray for Tirtol by-poll, are political novice, who have entered the election arena for the first time.
While the ruling BJD has fielded Bijay Shankar Das, BJP is banking on Rajkishore Behera for the battle. Similarly Congress’s Himansu Bhusan Mallick is all set to give good fight in the poll and CPI has fielded its candidate Bijay Kumar Bhoi for the first time in the constituency. Besides, five Independents – Arjun Charan Behera, Ramesh Chandra Mallick, Rabindranath Sethy, Sachitra Mallick and Golap Manjari Bhoi – are also contesting the by-election.
Tirtol has been a stronghold for the ruling party for more than a decade now. During the 2019 Assembly polls, Biju Janata Dal won the seat with a huge margin of more than forty thousand votes. Strong man of Jagatsinghpur Bishnu Charan Das garnered more than 54 percent votes as the divided opposition saw defeat. Bishnu Das’s popularity in the area was unmatched and after his demise his son Bijay Sankar Das is going to have the popular vote. In the last few days his popularity has gained tremendously. Along with this, BJD’s ground work in keeping its vote bank swelled has been meticulously planned. Senior party leaders are on the ground along with grassroots workers in campaigning for Bijay Shankar.
The Bhratiya Janata Party, which is trying to wrest the seat from the BJD, has been active for the last few days ever since the bypolls were announced.
Another factor that goes in favour of ruling BJD is that the BJP candidate Behera had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 and 2014 elections from Tirtol Assembly segment on Congress ticket. Last month, he defected to BJP.
Keeping all factors in mind and the current wave in favour of BJD, the party is all set to trigger a massive win once again.