After resounding success in the recently concluded panchayat poll in the state, Orissa chief minister and supremo of ruling regional outfit, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has reaffirmed his popularity among the voters as his party regained the Athgarh assembly seat in a by-election.
The by-election was held following a Supreme Court order, which had upheld the High Court decision to declare the 2009 election for this seat as null and void.
The BJD candidate Ranendra Pratap Swain, whose nomination paper was rejected during scrutiny in the last election paving the way for the victory of an independent candidate in 2009, has won the by-election by a wide margin of over 47,000 votes.
While Swain, a former minister in the Naveen Patnaik government from 2000-2004, bagged 87,604 votes, his nearest rival Suresh Mohapatra from the Congress got 40,214 votes. BJP's Bikram Dash has received only 2452 voters.
Later in the afternoon, Swain took oath as a member of the state legislative assembly which is currently in session. Speaker Pradeep Amat administered the oath of office and secrecy to Swain. It may be noted, BJD riding the popularity of Naveen Patnaik had won by-election to Umerkot assembly seat in November, 2011