Odisha Assembly winter session likely to be stormy

 thehindu.com  11/10/2019 19:50:39 

The winter session of the Odisha Assembly scheduled to commence on November 13 is likely to be stormy with the Bharatiya Janata Party trying hard to play the role of a strong opposition by raising various peoples issues.

Although it will be the second session of the 16th Odisha Legislative Assembly, the BJP legislators are planning to play the role of a strong opposition in the wake of their partys defeat in the recently held bypoll in the Bijepur Assembly seat.

BJP second in bypoll

Although the BJP candidate was able to finish second in the race with the Congress remaining in the third position, the ruling Biju Janata Dal had won the seat by a record margin of 97,990 votes.

The BJP also saw a decline in its support base at Bijepur in western Odisha that is considered to be its stronghold. The party nominee who had secured 53,482 votes in the elections held earlier this year bagged 37,967 votes in the recent bypoll.

It was believed that the BJP, which was successful in increasing its vote share in the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls earlier, put up a poor show in Bijepur in view of the BJDs support to BJPs nominee in the Rajya Sabha bypoll held in the first week of July this year. The BJD had extended support to the BJP nominee following telephone calls from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The BJP was also defeated by the BJD in the election that was held for the Patkura Assembly seat in coastal Odisha a few weeks after the Rajya Sabha bypoll.

This is for the first time that the BJP has become the main opposition in the State Assembly by replacing the Congress.

Polling in Patkura, which was initially scheduled for April 29 as part of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, was held on July 20 after it was adjourned twice  first due to the death of the BJD nominee who had filed candidature for the April 29 poll and again due to Cyclone Fani that hit the States coast on May 3.

Urban body polls

Since the urban body polls are likely to be held in the coming months, the BJP leaders in the State are in no mood to go soft on the ruling party from the coming session which will continue till December 19, having 30 working days.

Leader of the Opposition in Odisha Assembly Pradipta Naik has already announced that the BJP will stall the winter session if the State government fails to hand over to CBI the probe of alleged murder of a lady village level worker in Jajpur district. The party is also planning to raise other issues, including farm distress.

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