Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would visit Bijepur assembly constituency in Odisha’s Bargarh district on Monday to pay his gratitude to the people for reposing their faith on him and his party in the recent byelection.
A massive public meeting is being organized at Barpali, where Naveen, also BJD president, would pay juhaar (greeting with respect) to the people. Local leaders and workers who had burnt their midnight oil to ensure victory of their party have been invited to the meeting.
Informing about the visit of the Chief Minister, newly-elected BJD MLA of Bijepur Rita Sahu said the Chief Minister will express his gratitude to the people for the landslide victory of his party in the byelection. Sahu beat her nearest rival Ashok Panigrahi (BJP) by about 42,000 votes.
“Besides, the Chief Minister will talk about the assurances he had given to the people for the development works to be taken up in Bijepur and the manner of their implementation,” she added.
Naveen has not only promised a lot of development schemes to Bijepur, but also reshuffled his ministry following the bypoll victory with a view to implement the pre-poll promises.
According to political analysts, the arrangements being made by the ruling party are aimed at keeping intact the enthusiasm among the people as well as the party workers till the general and assembly elections in 2019.
Not only Bijepur, BJD has its focus on entire western Odisha where its performance was not so impressive in the three-tier panchayat elections in 2017.
Criticising Naveen’s proposed trip to Bijepur, state BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma wondered whether the BJD government is only concerned with grabbing votes or providing fluoride-free drinking water to the people. “People of Bijepur are hopeful that the Chief Minister will make an announcement on making Bijepur a fluoride-free area next year,” he pointed out.
Congress spokesperson Sarat Rout said the series of incidents that took place during the byelection in Bijepur should not be repeated in other constituencies. “The manner in which BJD hijacked the Bijepur bypoll should not be repeated in any other place in the state in the next elections,” Rout maintained.