Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate Rita Sahu registered an impressive victory in the Bijepur Assembly constituency in western Odisha when results of the bypoll were declared on Thursday. She defeated Sanat Gartia of the Bharatiya Janata Party by a record margin of 97,990 votes.Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, who had campaigned for two days for the bypoll, congratulated Ms. Sahu for her “huge historic win, breaking all records in Odisha’s electoral history”.While Ms. Sahu polled 1,35,957 votes, Mr. Gartia secured 37,967 votes. Congress nominee Dillip Panda put up a dismal performance by bagging only 5,873 votes.CM vacates seatThe bypoll was necessitated after Mr. Patnaik, who contested from two Assembly seats for the first time in the elections held earlier this year, vacated Bijepur and retained Hinjili seat in his home district Ganjam in south Odisha.In fact, Mr. Patnaik was elected from Bijepur by defeating Mr. Gartia by 57,122 votes. He had bagged 1,10,604 votes, while Mr. Gartia had secured 53,482 votes and Congress nominee Ripunath Seth had got 14,344 votes.In the previous bypoll in Bijepur that was held in February 2018 following death of Ms. Sahu’s husband and then Congress MLA Subal Sahu, she had won as a BJD candidate by a margin of over 41,000 votes.The Congress, which had won the Bijepur seat in the three elections held before the February 2018 bypoll, has been gradually losing its vote share in the seat in the last three elections, primarily due to its weak leadership at the State level.Vote share upBut what came as a surprise for many this time was the drastic decrease in the BJP’s vote share within a short span of time. The party’s decline from 53,482 votes in the elections held earlier this year to 37,967 votes in the current bypoll has left many leaders of the party dumbfounded. The bonhomie between the party and the BJD in the aftermath of the general election was said to have been the contributing factor.While the Chief Minister led the BJD’s campaign, the BJP’s effort was led by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who campaigned for two days. The campaign for the Congress was led by the party’s State unit president Niranjan Patnaik.
MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “First and foremost to the Jimenez family I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement and the loss of a loved one,” Boeheim read from a prepared statement. “The grief and pain his family is feeling at this time is, simply put, unimaginable. Juli, my family, and I are heartbroken. I love this community, and to see so many of my community members rally around the Jimenez family is a reminder of how special a community central New York is.”For Boeheim, who struck and killed Jimenez on a darkened highway that leads out of town, the game was his first public appearance since the accident. Boeheim, in his 43rd season as head coach at his alma mater, had addressed the team Thursday but did not take part in practice. Although he returned for practice Friday, he had not appeared in public until he made his way into the Carrier Dome to a big ovation from the crowd of 35,642.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesHead down, Boeheim made his way to center court and acknowledged the crowd with a brief wave before giving Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski a heartfelt hug.“That was such an incredible environment,” Krzyzewski said. “The support the fans gave the team and the support they gave Jim was great and such an emotional time.” Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Swingman Cameron Reddish was out with an illness and point guard Tre Jones suffered a shoulder injury roughly 5 1/2 minutes in to put Duke down two starters in that one. It was a completely different team, just like it was on Saturday without injured freshman star Zion Williamson, who had a season-high 35 points in that first game.Williamson watched from the bench as freshman forward RJ Barrett, who had a triple-double and double-double in Duke’s previous two games, scored 30 points to help fill the void and Alex O’Connell had a career-high 20 in his first start of the season.Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 16 points on 4-of-17 shooting, Elijah Hughes had 12, and Marek Dolezaj and Frank Howard had 10 apiece as the Orange hit only 1 of 11 3-pointers in the decisive second half.“Our offense is really the difference,” Boeheim said. “They’re going to score points. They’re a tremendous offensive team. If you can hold them in the 70s, that’s a pretty good effort, but offensively we didn’t get the movement we need to and we didn’t make shots when we got them.”For freshman Orange guard Buddy Boeheim, the coach’s youngest son, the whole night was a moment that forever will be etched in his mind.“When he first came out, it was just a great moment for the community, a great moment for him,” Buddy said. “It was just great having him there. You obviously want to win, but it’s more than basketball sometimes.”ATTENDANCE RECORDThe game set a record for an on-campus basketball game, eclipsing the mark of 34,446, twice against Duke.SHOW OF SUPPORTSeveral former Orange stars attended the game, including Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman, John Wallace, Todd Burgan and Billy Owens. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, wearing a No. 4 Syracuse jersey, also attended and sat just to the right of the Syracuse bench.BIG PICTURE Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kevin Love scores season-high 32 as Cavs beat Grizzlies View comments The accident happened after the Orange’s 20-point victory over No. 18 Louisville. Police say Jimenez was a passenger in a car that apparently skidded out of control on a patch of ice and hit a guardrail. Police say Jimenez was trying to get to safety when he was struck by Boeheim’s SUV. Boeheim had swerved to avoid the disabled car, which was resting perpendicular across two lanes.Jimenez was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another man in the car suffered minor injuries. A moment of silence was observed before the game for Jimenez and his family.Police say Boeheim has cooperated and sobriety tests administered to Boeheim and the unidentified driver of the other vehicle were negative for any signs of impairment. Police Chief Kenton T. Buckner said Thursday night there was “no reason to believe that there are criminal charges that will be coming for anyone.”Once the game started, it seemed like just another tilt featuring the two winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history, except for the massive crowd that made the dome’s walls shake every time the Orange scored. The Blue Devils (24-3, 12-2) improved to 7-0 on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference.In the first game between the teams, the Orange (18-9, 9-5) pulled off the upset, 95-91 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as Tyus Battle scored a season-high 32 points and Syracuse used its 2-3 zone defense to rattle Duke in overtime.ADVERTISEMENT Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim waves before the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Duke in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When it was over and the last of the deafening cheers of the record Carrier Dome crowd had stopped, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim forgot about basketball for a poignant moment.Three nights earlier, the 74-year-old Hall of Fame coach had been involved in an accident that took the life of 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, and that was foremost on his mind. Talking about a tough 75-65 loss to top-ranked Duke on Saturday night would have to wait.ADVERTISEMENT Duke: Williamson is recovering from a sprained knee. Duke was crushed at home, 88-72, on Wednesday night by No. 8 North Carolina after Williamson was hurt on the game’s first possession.Syracuse: Just being with the players and coaching them will help Boeheim cope with the tragic accident as the season winds down.UP NEXTDuke: At No. 20 Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.Syracuse: At No. 8 North Carolina on Tuesday night. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Urgent reply from Philippine football chief For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.