Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Campaigning ended on Sunday for November 3 bypolls in the Balasore and Tirtol Assembly constituencies of Odisha. Polling in both seats are scheduled to be held on Tuesday by adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.
The bypolls are being held following the death of Balasore legislator Madan Mohan Dutta of the BJP in June, and Tirtol legislator Bishnu Charan Das of the BJD in July this year.
Both the seats are witnessing triangular contests involving the nominees of ruling BJD and opposition BJP and Congress. A large number of leaders of the three parties have extensively campaigned despite it being the pandemic times. But the main contest is taking place between the BJD and the BJP since the Congress organisation continues to remain weak in the State.
While the BJD has fielded the son of the Das in Tirtol, the BJP has fielded the son of Dutta in Balasore. However, the BJD has sought votes by highlighting the achievements of the Naveen Patnaik Government, while the BJP has tried its best to woo the voters by highlighting the leadership of Modi in both seats.
Although the BJP had won the Balasore seat and ruling BJD had bagged Tirtol in the elections held last year, the BJD appears to be ahead of the saffron party in both the seats this time.
The BJP was able to bag Balasore Assembly seat when the Modi wave swept the region during the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in 2019. The party had won the Balasore Lok Sabha seat that time by defeating the BJD.
The situation seems to be in favour of the BJD in both Balasore and Tirtol at present since there is no Modi wave, and the BJP too had failed to project itself as a strong opposition party in the aftermath of the 2019 elections.
Further, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has addressed virtual rallies urging the voters to vote for the BJD. He has assured the voters of both constituencies that he would personally pay attention to the development of their respective areas.
The Congress had finished third in both the seats, and the party may also finish third this time too. The party may lose its vote share in Balasore where it has fielded a newcomer, while it is likely to perform better in Tirtol where it has fielded a good candidate.