Jharsuguda: On May 13, 2023, the Jharsuguda by-election results were announced, and the Congress party suffered a significant defeat, with their candidate Tarun Pandey unable to even retain the party’s deposit. In contrast, the Biju Janata Dal’s candidate, Deepali Das, won the by-election with a resounding victory, receiving 48,721 more votes than the BJP candidate, Tankdhar Tripathy.
The Congress candidate’s performance in this by-election was disappointing, as he only received 4,496 votes, which is 14,327 votes less than the previous Congress candidate Mahendra Naik received in the 2019 assembly election. The fact that Mahendra Naik joined the Biju Janata Dal party without receiving a party ticket in the by-election may have contributed to the Congress party’s defeat, as they were unable to put up a strong candidate.
The Odisha Congress President, Sarat Patnaik, responded to the media, stating that this defeat was just a referendum and that the general election is still ahead. He thanked the people of Jharsuguda for their support of the Congress and expressed his determination to correct the party’s mistakes and move forward. Patnaik has been working on strengthening the Congress organization in Jharsuguda since he became the party president a year ago.
However, the Congress party’s situation in Jharsuguda has been challenging, and they have been struggling to gain a foothold. After Nab Das joined the Biju Janata Dal, several Congress leaders also defected to the Biju Janata Dal, and their votes went to the BJD in this by-election. MLA Tara Bahinipati stated that they lost due to a lack of unity and money. He claimed that it was not possible for them to win as money was being spent in Jharsuguda.
In contrast, Deepali Das’ victory in the by-election sparked a celebration in the Biju Janata Dal camp and broke the record set by her father, Nab Das, in the 2019 assembly election. Deepali won by a margin of 48,237 votes, which is more than her father’s margin of victory in the last election. The BJP candidate managed to get more votes than their candidate in the 2019 assembly election, but it was not enough to beat Deepali Das’s massive victory.
In conclusion, the Jharsuguda by-election results have sent a clear message that the Congress party needs to reevaluate its strategies and work harder to regain the trust of the people in Jharsuguda. The Biju Janata Dal’s victory in this by-election has cemented its position as a formidable political force in Odisha, and it will likely continue to play a significant role in the state’s politics in the future.