Bhubaneswar, Oct. 11: Chief minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik will launch his party's campaign for the Bijepur Assembly bypoll from October 21.
"He is scheduled to address a public meeting at Barpalli on October 21," said BJD vice-president Prasanna Acharya.
The BJD would hold its public meeting at the same venue, where the BJP had held its "Mishran Parva" (leaders' joining the party) on October 2. BJP Bargarh district unit president Narayan Sahu had stayed away from it.
The BJD has already announced the candidature of Rita Sahu, widow of departed Congress MLA Subal Sahu. However, the Congress and the BJP are yet to decide on their candidate.
"We have formed a four-member committee to select the candidate," said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan.
In another development, the BJD has geared up its organisational machinery and also stepped up its attacks on the BJP in the poll run-up. It has also been working hard to iron out differences within the party.
The patch-up with Prabhat Aditya Mishra, who was miffed with the candidature of Rita Sahu, is being considered as a major achievement on this front.
"We are pretty sure that the people of Bijepur will vote for the BJD this time," said Acharya.
However, BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty said: "The people of Bijepur have become disgusted with the BJD government."
Congress leader Harichandan said: "They have been voting for our party and not for any individual. Besides, Subal Sahu, till his death, remained with the Congress. People will take this into account."
However, all eyes are on Orissa High Court where the Bijepur by-election case will come up tomorrow for hearing.