The campaigning for Balasore and Tirtol Assembly by-election in Odisha came to end on Sunday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) locked in a close contest to retain their respective seats.
The by-elections are being held following death of former BJP MLA of Balasore Madan Mohan Dutta and veteran BJD leader Bishnu Charan Das who represented Tirtol constituency.
Both BJP and BJD have fielded sons of deceased leaders in order to draw sympathy votes.
Nine candidates are in fray for the Tirtol Assembly segment where Bijay Shankar Das son of Bishnu Charan Das is locking horn with BJP candidate Rajkishore Behera and Congress aspirant Himansu Bhushan Mallick.
Mr. Das, whose father was known for his organizational skill, is trying to take advantage of the sympathy factor, while BJP and Congress are highlighting corruption and lack of development in BJD regime.
Greenhorns in the field
In Balasore, while Manas Mohan Dutta was fielded by BJP, the BJD and the Congress have also pushed greenhorns to battlefield.
Swarup Kumar Das, who had earlier won a civic body election, is banking on BJD’s organizational strength while Mamata Kundu of Congress is trying hard to consolidate party’s traditional voting blocs.
Though the outcome of by-elections will have little impact on equation in State’s politics, these electoral battles are being fought in the shadow of COVID-19. Large gathering and mass mobilisations were out of questions during the campaigns.