Bhubaneswar: Defeating the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the BJP managed to retain the Dhamnagar legislative seat in Odisha’s Bhadrak district and its candidate Suryavanshi Suraj won by a margin of 9,881 votes.
Suraj got 80,351 votes and his nearest rival BJD candidate Avanti Das got 70,470 votes. BJD rebel candidate Rajendra Das got 8,153 votes. The Congress was in fourth position as its nominee Baba Harekrishna Shetty got only 3,561 votes.
Polling was conducted in 252 polling stations on November 3 for the by-election and a voter turnout of 68.98 percent was recorded.
The BJP, which came third in the last by-election in Brajrajnagar, contested the by-elections unitedly. Many senior leaders including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Vishveshwar Tudu, former Union Minister Pratap Sarangi and State President Sameer Mohanty campaigned for the party candidate. The organization founded by Manmohal Samal and Vishnu Shetty also helped the party win MLA seats, party insiders said.
The BJD, which played the women and SHG card in the by-elections to counter the wave of sympathy for Suryavanshi, failed in its strategy.
“#Dhamnagar by-election result is a victory for democracy. It is a victory for youth and women. Gratitude to the people of Dhamnagar for reposing faith in @BJP4Odisha, honoring the legacy of late Vishnu Bhai & blessing Shri @suryabanshibjp,” the chief said in a tweet.
The result of the by-election reflects the mood of the people of Odisha as well as Odisha’s confidence in the decisive and credible leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, congratulating all party workers for the victory.
Notably, Dhamnagar is considered a BJP stronghold as it has won twice in the recent past – Manmohan Samal in 2004 and Vishnucharan Shetty in 2019. The BJD had won five by-elections in the state since 2019, wrestled in Balasore. BJP from Sadar seat. The win will boost the party to take on the ruling BJD in the upcoming elections.