Intensifying political debate over early voting in Odisha

by Dikhyaa Mohanty

Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Education Minister, made a statement on Saturday that sparked speculation about the possibility of an early Assembly election in Odisha. However, the BJD responded strongly on Monday, claiming that the BJP is interested in postponing the general election because it is unconvinced about the performance of the party in the five states that will hold elections by the end of 2023.

Sushant Singh, a former minister and prominent BJD figure, claimed that the defeat in Himachal Pradesh had revealed the BJP’s frailty. Additionally, Singh noted that the BJP is unsure of its performance in the five states that will hold elections by the end of 2023, which is why the saffron party is interested in an early election to control the situation.

However, the BJP said that the BJD is interested in an early election since the party’s support is dwindling. Leader of the opposition Jaynarayan Mishra mentioned the comments of the Union Education Minister and said he had also heard the same thing. According to him, the BJD is getting ready to hold elections by the end of 2023 since public support for the party has declined over time.

In the meantime, the verbal battle about an agreement in the Padampur by-election continued with the BJD stating on Monday that it was the BJP that reached a deal with Congress that fell through. Former MLA Satya Bhusan Sahu, according to Singh, did not run in the 2014 election, but BJP had made a pact with Congress.

The former minister alleged that the BJP wanted to divert Congress vote through former MP from Sambalpur Sanjay Bhoi. Sanjay, son of former Congress MP Kripasindhu Bhoi had joined BJP on December 2, only three days before the bypoll.

Singh admitted that BJD was defeated in the Dhamnagar bypoll because of sympathy wave for the BJP candidate. He also alleged that the BJP had struck a deal with BJD rebel Rajendra Das. Besides, Congress votes were also transferred to the saffron party.


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