Alliance Suspense In Odisha: Will BJD Retain Achyuta Samanta In Kandhamal?

Bhubaneswar: Amid continuing suspense over the fate of a poll alliance between Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha, ticket aspirants of both the parties appear to be anxiously waiting for an announcement.

Like any other constituency, uncertainty surrounds Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat now represented by BJD’s Achyuta Samanta. No one is certain which party will bag the politically sensitive Parliamentary seat if BJD and BJP forge an alliance.

Political observers as well as people of the constituency wonder whether BJD will re-nominate Samanta or field a new face as it did in past elections. Many are of the view that BJP may bag the seat in case the two parties arrive at a deal. It is difficult to guess as to who will be the saffron party candidate in Kandhamal.

Ever since Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency came into being, it has remained a BJD bastion. The ruling party fielded new candidates in every Parliamentary election and its experiment has always received support from the voters. In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the regional party fielded Rudramadhab Ray who brought victory for BJD. In 2014, BJD changed its candidate and nominated Hemendra Singh, who emerged victorious. Following Singh’s demise, BJD had fielded his wife Pratyusha Rajeswari in the by-election and the ruling party candidate won.

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the ruling party fielded its Rajya Sabha member Achyuta Samanta in Kandhamal and he brought a spectacular victory for the conch party.

Samanta, who happens to be the founder of a chain of reputed educational institutions, including KIIT and KISS and KIMS hospital, is known for his contribution towards imparting free education to many poor tribal students from remote corners of the state. People of Kandhamal have all along been demonstrating their love and affection towards Samanta, who runs several programmes in the tribal-dominated district.

Samanta had polled over 4.61 lakh votes in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, defeating Kharabela Swain of BJP by a wide margin of over 1.5 lakh votes. Analysts are of the opinion that BJD is likely to re-nominate Samanta in view of his tremendous organising skills and abilities.

On the other hand, BJP appears to be in a state of confusion with regard to Kandhamal. Swain is stated to be eager to contest from Balasore this time. However, the saffron party seems to be in no mood to replace Balasore MP and former Union Minister Pratap Sarangi. The names of Swain and Laxman Panda are among the possible BJP nominees in Kandhamal.

Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency includes Baliguda, G Udaygiri, Phulbani, Kantamal, Boudh, Daspalla, and Bhanjanagar Assembly segments. In the run up to the elections, the ruling BJD is all set to highlight many tribal welfare and tourism development programmes launched by it in the region.

BJP, on its part, will seek to tell people about its achievements and successful implementation of a slew of welfare and development programmes.

While Congress appears to have been thrown into a state of disarray in most parts of the state, BJD is expected to retain Samanta as its nominee in Kandhamal if it bags the seat.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.