Bhubaneswar, : A day after party’s defeat in bypoll to Padampur assembly seat in Odisha, senior BJP leader Jay Narayan Mishra on Friday accused the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD of using huge amount of money and state machinery to win the by-poll.
“BJD has won the by-poll using huge amounts of money, muscle power and state machinery. Naveen Babu has raised the election expenditure to such a height, a common man cannot fight an election in the state,” Mishra claimed while speaking to media persons.
He said that the Padampur bypoll result will not have any impact on the 2024 election.
Mishra, who is the leader of opposition in Odisha assembly, also refuted the anti-women allegation made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
On Thursday, Patnaik had said that he was deeply pained by BJP leaders’ personal and disrespectful attacks on party candidate Barsha Singh Bariha. So, he decided to stand by her as a father figure and personally campaign at Padampur.
“No personal attack was made on the BJD candidate. Patnaik has the old habit of making such statements to gain empathy of the people,” the BJP leader said.
He further said that had BJP been anti-women, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have not been able to establish himself as “Pradhan Sevak” of the country. The BJP would not have won in Dhamnagar bypoll, he added.
Meanwhile, senior Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said, “The way Congress is going down in by-elections in the state, I think the party will disappear from Odisha politics soon. We lost deposits in Dhamnagar and Padampur bypolls. It is a shame for me and all Congress leaders in the state.”
He also raised questions on the functioning of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Sarat Pattanayak on the defeat of his party in the bypoll.
Congress high command has given responsibility to the PCC president. Pattanayak has not yet formed his committee. He should introspect and immediately call a meeting to review the poll debacle, Bahinipati suggested.
The Congress leader also questioned how come the PCC president knew about the defeat, a day before the counting.
Claiming Congress votes have gone to the BJD’s kitty, the Congress leader appealed to all his party leaders to introspect and chalk out a plan to take forward the party from this point.
Commenting on this, BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said, “BJD was leading in all rounds of counting of votes. If we would get a good number of votes only in some particular area, one can say we got Congress votes… (they) all are BJD votes.”