Patkura by-poll: Once close aide of Naveen Pattnaik taking on BJD’s Sabitri Agrawal
Bhubaneswar, July 20: Voting for the Patkura assembly bypoll is underway and the electoral battle is interesting because the BJP has fielded Bijoy Mohapatra, who is one of the founding members of the BJD, from this seat. Pitted against Mohapatra is BJD's Sabitri Agrawalla and Congress's Jayant Mohanty.
A voter turnout of 26 percent has been recorded till 11.
Mohapatra was a close aide of incumbent Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik till 2000, but fell apart after being denied a ticket. A founder member of BJD, Mohapatra was sacked from the party on the eve of the 2000 assembly elections, following his differences with Patnaik.
Election was originally to be held on April 29, but had to be cancelled because of the demise of sitting BJD MLA and party nominee Bed Prakash Agarwal. BJD has chosen Agarwal's wife Sabitri Agarwal as its candidate.
Since the 2000 fallout, Patnaik's is said to have gone an extra mile to ensure Mohapatra's defeat in every election since that day.
Ironically, Patnaik and Mohapatra had together set up the BJD in 1997 and used to be the best of friends till 2000.