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Can BJD Wrest Odisha’s Prestigious Dhamnagar Assembly Seat From BJP?

Ahead of 2024 election preparation, BJD and BJP in Odisha are all set for high voltage by-election drama to contest Dhamnagar assembly seat on November 3.This decision was necessitated after the recent death of two-time sitting BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi. This win or loss at Dhamnagar by election which as of today is BJP’s citadel, will set the pace for 2024 Lok Sabha elections. BJP is likely to field a member of the Sethi family as it is hopeful that voters will give BJP another chance to fulfill the unfinished task of Sethi who was known as a prolific writer, poet and thinker. However this time, the task for BJP is cut out, given that in 2019 election, BJP’s Sethi had won by thin margin 48% visa-vis BJD 45% votes, while Congress garnered only 4% votes. Interestingly, if one looks at by-election results held in Bijepur, Tirtol, Pipili, Brajrajnagar, Balasore Sadar between between 2019 and 2020 then all seats have been won by the ruling Biju Janata Dal. Leader of opposition Jaya Narayan Mishra representing BJP is hopeful that Sethi’s good reputation will ensure victory at Dhamnagar by-election and BJP will treat this as a practice match ahead of the final match in 2024.