Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate Rita Sahu won the by-poll for Bijepur Assembly constituency in Odisha’s Bargarh district, counting for which was held Wednesday.
Rita Sahu defeated her nearest rival, BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi by 41,933 votes in a triangular contest. Congress nominee Pranaya Sahu was a distant third managing only 4193 votes.
Official sources said that while BJD candidate Rita Sahu had secured 1,02,871 votes , BJP’s Ashok Panigrahi had garnered 60,938 votes.
With the massive victory, the BJD candiate Rita Sahu and BJD Chief and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thanked the voters of Bijepur for supporting the party and assured to fulfil the promises made before and during the poll.
The Bijepur Assembly seat result assumes significance, particularly for BJD, BJP and Congress as it is seen as the precursor to the 2019 General Elections.
The by-poll was held on February 24 in which around 82 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise. It was necessitated following the death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu in August 2017. Subal Sahu’s widow Rita Sahu was contesting the by-election as ruling BJD candidate.
BJP candidate Ashok Panigrahi had won the Bijepur Assembly seat once in 2000 Assembly election.
Though as many as 13 candidates were in fray for the assembly seat, the high voltage fight was primarily seen as a triangular contest between state ruling BJD, BJP and Congress.