Jharsuguda Bypoll: Why It Could Set The Tone For Next Assembly Polls In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The bypoll to Jharsuguda Assembly, which scheduled to be held on May 10, may see two debutants Deepali Das (BJD) and Tankadhar Tripathy (BJP) crossing swords in the electoral fight for the seat that fell vacant after Health Minister Naba Kishore Das’ murder while setting the tone for the ‘Big Battle’ in 2024. 

A win in this by-election, which mostly probable the last before the next assembly elections in Odisha, is likely to give the victorious party a psychological edge. If the margin of victory will be more than 50,000, it can demoralise others in the fray.

After Padampur, Jharsuguda will be the second seat in western Odisha to face bypoll in quick succession. For BJD, it is a must win poll considering the Health Minister was murdered, the party will have sympathy, and it would want to ride on the momentum gained in Jharsuguda to cruise into full election mode.

Also Read: Date For Bypoll To Jharsuguda Assembly Constituency In Odisha Announced

If BJD, riding on a sympathy wave, wins it can claim to have quelled the BJP challenge in the region and also dilute the Dhamnagar victory narrative of BJP. With Deepali almost certain to be the BJD candidate from Jharsuguda, the bypoll will see the rise of another daughter in western Odisha after Barsha Singh Bariha in Padampur.

A win for Deepali might also reduce the discussion on Naba Kishore Das murder, and in a way help ruling BJD wriggle out of an embarrassing situation ahead of the next polls. The result will also be seen as a verdict on Naba Das’ murder amid allegations of a deep-rooted conspiracy and faulty probe by the Crime Branch of Odisha police.

For BJP’s new president Manmohan Samal, it will be his first acid test within weeks of taking charge. He had played a key role in ensuring the party’s victory in the high-octane Dhamnagar by-election and is expected to bring all his experience to Jharsuguda.

Also Read: Jharsuguda Bypoll In Odisha: BJD-BJP Hopeful Of Win As Political Climate Heats Up

For the Congress, which has lost deposits in 5 bypolls since 2019, it is a do-or-die situation. With a sharp fall in its vote share and number of seats in successive elections since 2004, the grand old party is struggling to stay relevant in state politics.

The result might also impact the timing of the next Assembly polls in the state.



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