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.
In its bid to promote the traditional version of the game in the age of slam bang Twenty20 cricket, the ICC is contemplating of introducing a Test league from where top four teams would qualify for a quadrennial play-off event to begin in 2013.Apart from the Test play-off, the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC), which assembled here for a two-day meeting that concluded today, also recommended an ODI league from next year.”The Future Tours Programme should consist of a Test league to provide context for all Test matches. The league would determine the top four teams to qualify for an ICC Test play-off. The play-off should be held once every four years to determine the Test champion team with a request to hold the first such play-off in 2013,” the ICC said in a statement.”The FTP should also consist of a One-Day International league, the first to run from April 2011 until April 2014, culminating in the crowning of an ODI league champion. This would run separate to the ICC Cricket World Cup,” it said.The CEC also recommended that the game’s governing body should consider a 10-team format for ICC’s flagship event, the Cricket World Cup, from 2015 and 16-team format for the men’s World Twenty20 from 2012.The committee also recommended the introduction of Twenty20 International rankings.”I am really excited by what the CEC has proposed.Restructuring international cricket is a significant strategic challenge and one that must be dealt with. I am grateful to the CEC and its working group for making such far-reaching proposals to tackle this important issue,” ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said.advertisement”Achieving balance and unanimous agreement is not easy but it is a very important piece of work that requires a strategic response,” he said.