Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Jun 4:
BJD Barabati MLA Debashish Samantaray was publicly corned by his sister-in-law Sikha Samantaray and archrival Damodar Rout following the loss of Biju Janata Dal candidate in Odisha’s Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) bypoll today.
“Democracy is of the people, for the people and by the people. You can’t hide anything from anyone forever. People of Cuttack knew the truth and that is why they voted against his candidate. I am happy that the candidate I campaigned for won. This is the victory of good over evil,” said Sikha taking a jibe at her brother-in-law Debashish against whom she had earlier filed harassment charges.
BJD Vice President and Excise Minister Damodar Rout – who had earlier been at loggerheads with Debashish over egg pelting, Paradip oil refinery inauguration and Biju centenary celebrations earlier this year – today trained his gun towards the Barabati MLA over the loss of the BJD candidate in the bypoll.
“Usually the candidates of the ruling party win the bypolls. Biju Patnaik earlier created history by winning all five bypolls when he was in opposition. Cuttack is the birthplace of both Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik. It pains me to see a candidate losing in a bypoll here,” said Rout.
“People accept political leaders based on their behaviour. The CMC mayor had been ousted without any fault. This had its impact on the voters. I have known this since long,” he added; indirectly hinting at the involvement of Debashish behind the unceremonious ouster of former CMC Mayor Anita Behera.
Debashish, on the other hand, attempted to defend himself and cited the role of rebels behind the defeat.
“The anti-incumbency factor against our former Mayor pulled us down. Besides, there were dissidents inside our own party. Further, BJP sold itself to Congress. All of these factors led to the outcome. We would further analyse the results,” said Debashish explaining the loss of the Biju Janata Dal candidate.
“There would be no effect of this loss on the upcoming Panchayat polls. Congress has got only 1500 votes here. This is not going to influence the over four crore Odias at all,” he added.