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Odisha's Bijepur bypoll 2018 updates: BJD leads with over 32000 votes

Odisha's Bijepur bypoll 2018 updates: BJD leads with over 32000 votes

Securing 1,02,871 votes she emerged victorious while BJP's Ashok Panigrahi who had jumped over to the saffron party stood distant second with 60,938 votes while and Congress candidate Pranay Sahu secured only 10,274.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the outcome of the polls would have an impact on the 2019 Assembly elections. Leader of the BJP legislature party KV Singhdeo said the position is good and the party is hopeful of a victory. Meanwhile, the Congress was replaced as the prime opposition by the BJP.

Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik also participated in the celebrations. Notably, the by-election was held on February 24 in which around 82 per cent of the voters had exercised their franchise.

Sahu was accompanied by Labour Minister Sushant Singh, Handlooms Minister Snehangini Chhuria and hundreds of party workers during her meeting with Naveen.

On the other hand, the BJP is upbeat after its victory in last year's panchayat elections and hopes to make inroads into the BJD bastion. The BJP had already laid the groundwork by its impressive show in the state rural polls previous year, where it not only edged past the Congress but increased its tally of zilla parishad seats from 36 in 2012 to 297. The voters' verdict has come as a blow to the BJP as well as Congress in many ways than one. The BJP had swept the Zilla Parishad polls in Bargarh district in 2017. "We are hopeful that BJD candidate will win by a handsome margin, but it is very hard to assess the number of votes", he said. Secondly, its rise in vote share in recently-concluded elections across the country. With it having no impact in Odisha, call for impending change in OPCC guard appears imminent.

Former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik blames state PCC and AICC for defeat in by-poll. Call for Prasad's ouster will only get shriller.

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