Bargarh: BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik began his election campaign for by-poll to Bijepur assembly constituency on Tuesday.
Addressing a huge gathering at Badagaon of Barpali block in Bargarh district, the Chief Minister wooed the voters in favour of his party candidate Rita Sahu for the Bijepur by-poll.
The by-poll is scheduled to be held on February 24.
During his address, he remembered the great sons of the soil and legendary poet Gangadhar Meher as well as renowned freedom fighter Bhagarathi Patnaik.
The Chief Minister also recalled how Bijepur's three-time MLA late Subal Sahu, who passed away in August 2017, for his efforts for the all-round development of the region.
'After the sad demise of your popular leader Subal Sahu, Sister Rita Sahu (wife of Subal Sahu) approached me to give her a chance to serve Bijepur for one year on which the departed soul of her husband would remain in peace in the abode,' Patnaik said.
'Impressed upon her self-confidence and dedication to serving the people, I gave the BJD ticket to Sister Rita Sahu,' Patnaik added.
He appealed people to bless the BJD candidate and cast their votes for the party.
While he highlighted the developmental works being carried out in the district, he also criticised the Union government for applying Goods and Service Tax (GST) for hand-loom products.
He assured that the state government would appeal the Centre to free the hand-loom from GST net.
The Chief Minister will address several meetings during his two-day stay in Bijepur.