5 years after NAC tag, Bijepur gears up for maiden polls

All political parties have the words only in their speeches that chairperson post are reserve for sc women candidate, but in reality they forget about their words. In this last poll in bijepur a SC women candidate from BJD was rejected because the upper cast people don’t want to say “Madam Namaste” everyday morning. They says “Sakal Paile Chot Jatir Maijhi ke Juhar Karmu Kain Bo”

The poll scene is hotting up in Bargarh’s Bijepur which will witness the urban local body (ULB) elections for the first time since it was accorded the NAC tag in 2017. Locked in a triangular fight, the three major political parties – BJD, BJP and Congress – are sparing no efforts to pocket the chairperson post which is reserved for SC women. No Independent candidate has filed nomination for the chairperson post. The newly-upgraded NAC comprises 11 Wards.

While BJD has fielded Sita Barik, BJP has nominated Padmabati Deheri and Congress Sabita Chhura for the chairperson post. After an uninspiring show in the recently-concluded zilla parishad (ZP) elections in Bijepur constituency, BJD is desperately eyeing the NAC chairperson post. The BJP and Congress, on the other hand, are trying to break the ruling party’s winning streak in Bijepur.

State president of BJP’s Yuva Morcha Irasis Acharya said in the ZP polls, the party’s performance in Bijepur was noteworthy. “Despite BJD having dominance, we were able to win three seats – one each in Gaisilet, Bijepur and Barpali blocks. This clearly shows the support of people towards us,” he said.

Four years after Bijepur was elevated to NAC, major issues of the area are yet to be addressed. Due to the delay in addressing the basic needs of the NAC, people are unhappy with the ruling BJD. “The BJP is confident of putting up a better show in the ULB polls here,” Acharya claimed.

Senior Congress leader Pradeep Debata said people of Bijepur want to see development and the ruling party cannot win votes simply by using money power. “We are approaching people at their doorsteps to know their issues. Congress is going to give a strong competition to the BJD this time,” he said. On the other hand, BJD’s Bijepur MLA Rita Sahu said, “People are aware of the pro-people work of CM Naveen Patnaik. We are sure of getting their support in the upcoming election.”

A couple of years back, Bijepur was at the centre of attraction of political parties as the segment witnessed three Assembly elections in two years time. The Assembly seat went to bypolls in 2018 following the death of then MLA Subal Sahu the previous year. Then came the General Elections in 2019 when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik contested from the seat and won. The third by-election was necessitated the same year when Naveen vacated the seat and retained Hinjili in Ganjam from where he had also won in the General Elections.



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