Bhubaneswar, Apr 16 (UNI) In a close contest, the Opposition Congress today retained the Laxmipur (ST) Assembly seat in the bypolls defeating the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate by a slender margin of votes.
Chief Electoral Office (CEO) sources here said Congress candidate Purna Chandra Majhi, son of the sitting Congress MLA Anantram Majhi whose death necessitated the by-election, defeated Bibhisan Majhi by a margin of 484 votes.
While the Congress candidate polled 41,070 votes, the BJD garnered 40,586 votes in a multi cornered contest with the presence of a newly floated regional party Samrudha Orissa, Samajwadi Party and Republic Party of India.
Samrudha Orissa (SO) candidate Upendra Majhi got 6676 votes while Kumunda Chandra Saunta of Samajwadi party polled 5234 votes. The Republic of India which fielded Dandasti Tripathy garnered 6333 votes.
This would be the second victory of Congress in the bypolls held in the state during the second tenure of the BJD-BJP government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Earlier, the Congress also retained the Talsara (ST) seat where bypolls were held following the death of sitting MLA Gajadhar Majhi.
His nephew Prafulla Majhi retained the seat defeating the BJP candidate.
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