Bhubaneshwar: President of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Niranjan Patnaik has requested citizens and well-wishers of the party to donate funds to enable the party meet election expenses for the bypoll elections for Bijepur Assembly constituency, reported Hindustan Times.
The election is scheduled to be held on October 21. Bypoll to Bijepur assembly constituency is being held after chief minister Naveen Patnaik vacated it.
Niranjan said: “The party will spend funds for contesting the Bijepur by-poll, but it will be not enough to meet the expenses. Congress is not in a situation to match the expenses of ruling BJD and BJP.” Earlier, he declared assets of Rs 60 crore and was among the richest MLA candidates for the Assembly election this year.
Patnaik said the party has so far got Rs 25,000 as cash donation and an assurance of another Rs 75,000. He asked people to donate as much as they can donate. In the 2019 polls, ruling BJD had spent Rs 227.79 crore, its highest-ever expenditure while Congress and BJP are yet to submit their expenditure statements to the EC.
The Election Commission of India set limit of expenses for an Assembly constituency at Rs 28 lakh per candidate during 2019 Assembly polls. However, it has not set such limits for the Bijepur bypoll.