Will Bijoy Mohapatra Miss The Bus To Odisha Assembly Yet Again?

20 April 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: Out of power for two decades, a little too much for someone who was once dubbed as the Chief Minister's right hand man. Bijoy Mohapatra, the old warhorse of Odisha politics was nominated by the BJP from the Patkura assembly seat and going by the political pundits, he was offering a tough fight to his contestants in the coastal segment this time.

However, the untimely demise of sitting MLA and BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwal on Saturday has come as a jolt to Mohapatra, both personally and from a political point of view.

Mohapatra and Agarwal were old comrades so his death is certainly a personal loss for the former and many others across party lines. However, now that Patkura elections has been countermanded and will be held in form of a by-poll, Mohapatra's impact and energy is not going to be the same, opined experts.

"It is expected that Patkura assembly elections would be held two to three months from now. The foreseeable future and the political environment at that time, is difficult to predict. Now the sympathy votes would go in favour of Bed Prakash and it would be difficult for Bijoy Mohaptra to win," senior journalist Prasant Patnaik.

Mohapatra had gained traction after bagging the BJP ticket, after his homecoming into the saffron party. For the four-time MLA, who had missed the bus to Assembly despite desperate attempts on four occasions, 2019 elections was touted as a lifetime opportunity.

“Now that the Patkura elections have been deferred, to what extent the political veteran can swing the voters in his favour, remains to be seen. It seems, Bijoy Mohapatra’s dream would remain a dream," Patnaik said.

Senior BJD leader Prafulla Ghadei echoed Patnaik on sympathy factor. "Bed babu had a great support in Patkura and the same will go in favour of the BJD candidate," he added.

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Prasant Patnaik, Senior Journalist

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Prafulla Ghadei, Senior BJD Leader