Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], December 9 (ANI): Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday cautioned the Bharatiya Janata Party that people in his state will never support disrespect towards women after BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha recorded a thumping victory in Padampur bypolls against the saffron party.
Thanking people for Bariha's victory in a video message, Patnaik told the saffron party: "Let's work together for the good of the people, for the betterment of Odisha,"
Bariha defeated BJP's Pradip Purohit from Padampur with a margin of over 42,000 votes on Thursday.
"Thank you all for your support and this extraordinary victory. This is the victory of the people of Padampur. I would also like to thank the lakhs of Biju Janta Dal workers for their hard work and determination," Patnaik said in his video message in Odia.
Patnaik said he was saddened by the way the Bharatiya Janata Party conducted itself making personal attacks at Bariha, showing total disrespect towards an educated woman, who was in grief. The Padampur bypolls were necessitated after the death of her father and sitting BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha on October 3.
"Some people are asking why I didn't go canvassing for panchayat elections and other bypolls, why I didn't go in Padampur election for campaigning,
"I want to state here, the way a woman, an educated young woman, a woman who was in grief due to the loss of her father, was disrespected by some leaders of the state Bharatiya Janata Party -- it saddened to me.
"I think it was not just a very sad thing for me alone, but for all the women of Odisha," he said.
"Losing and winning in politics, contesting the elections are different things. But to disrespect, a woman like that is reprehensible. That's why I decided to stand by Barsha Singh Bariha - like a father, like a brother, like a friend," he added.
As he thanked the people and lakhs of Biju Janta Dal workers for their hard work and determination in his video message in Odia, Patnaik also warned the opposition BJP that Odisha would never support those who disrespect women on the pretext of politics.
"And there was a serious matter - some Union Ministers tried to mislead the people of Odisha and Padampur. Be it a housing scheme, GST on Kendu leaf, crop insurance delay, MSP issue, or rail connectivity, this is extremely unfortunate. This doesn't seem right.
"You (BJP) are at the Centre, we are in the state. Let's work together for the good of the people, for the betterment of Odisha," Patnaik said adding that he was indebted to the people of Padampur and asserted that all the promises made will be fulfilled.
Barsha Singh Bariha won with a margin of 42,679 votes in the Assembly bye-elections.
Bariha secured a total of 1,20,807 votes, while BJP Pradip Purohit could get 78,128 votes, while the Congress candidate Satya Bhusan Sahu managed to get 3,581 votes.
Soon after the results on Thursday, Naveen Patnaik spoke to Bariha over the phone and congratulated her for the spectacular victory.
In a conversation with ANI, Barsha Singh Bariha said: "This win belongs to the people of Padampur, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and all the workers of the party who made a list of efforts for me during the election. I would like to complete all the works initiated by my father and were stopped due to his demise." (ANI)