Naveen Patnaik reviews Patkura poll outcome, BJP inroads

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NEW DELHI: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday reviewed the result of the Patkura assembly election, in which BJP was found to have made considerable inroads though the ruling BJD won the seat.

Patnaik, who is also the BJD president, was not happy with the winning margin of 17,920 votes as he was expecting a bigger margin, party insiders said.

Patnaik, insiders said, asked the leaders in-charge of Patkura elections how BJP could make inroads in the constituency which is considered a BJD fort.

Of the total 2,44,747 voters of politically sensitive Patkura assembly constituency, 1,78,007 people had exercised their franchise on July 20. In the result declared on Wednesday Sabitri Agarwal of BJD had been declared to have trounced Patnaik’s bete nore Bijoy Mohapatra of BJP.

The sources said Patnaik wanted to know how Mohapatra manged to secure 78,097 votes – 55,509 votes more than the 2014 BJP candidate Manas Ranjan Mohanty, who had secured 21,588 votes.

BJD winning margin has gone up by 6164 votes in Patkura between 2014 and 2019. In 2014 its former MLA Bed Prakash Agarwal had secured 89,853 votes and in the recent polls his widow Sabitri Agarwal won 96,017 votes.

Patnaik had himself conducted road shows and campaigned for the party’s candidate.

He had engaged seven ministers, a large number of MLAs and senior leaders including former law-makers for canvassing for the election, which was considered as a prestige battle between the two leaders.

Among others ministers Arun Sahu, Ranendra Pratap Swain, Prafulla Mallick, Mahakalpara MLA Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, senior MLAs Devi Mishra, Pradeep Panigrahi and Pratap Deb who were in-charge of the Patkura elections attended the meeting.

After the meeting, Deb said that discussions were held regarding the present position of BJD in all the 51 gram panchayats of Patkura assembly segment.

Source: Press Trust of India