Bhubaneswar: Two veteran Congress leaders have managed to give the party a saving grace in the face of its near rout in Odisha, where it lost its foothold with a sloppy show in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra, who had won from Balangir Assembly seat, defeating five-time MLA and BJD leader AU Singhdeo in 2014, retained the seat after defeating rival BJD candidate Arkesh Narayan Singh Deo by a margin of 5,341 votes in a close fight in this election.
Like Mishra, another veteran leader of the party, Suresh Routray, has been able to win the Jatni Assembly seat after a gap of 19 years by defeating his rival BJD candidate Bibhuti Bhushan Balabantray by a margin of 7,522 votes.
With this victory, Routray has won as MLA for the sixth time from Jatni. He had earlier won from this constituency in 1977 (as a Janata Party candidate), 1980, 1985, 1995 and 2000 (as a Congress candidate).