Odisha Elections 2024: All Eyes On Naveen Patnaik In Round II Tomorrow; Know Other Key Contestants

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: As Odisha gears up for the second round of polling on Monday, all eyes are set on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is among the 305 candidates in fray in five Lok Sabha and 35 Assembly seats.

Apart from the BJD supremo, other prominent contestants for the second phase include veteran BJP leader and former Union Minister Jual Oram, former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, former Union Minister and hotelier Dilip Ray, and BJP’s four-time Lok Sabha MP Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo.

A total of 40 candidates are contesting from five Lok Sabha seats, while 265 contestants are in the race for 35 Assembly constituencies. As many as 79,62,148 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise on Monday.

The five Lok Sabha seats going to polls are Aska, Kandhamal, Balangir, Bargarh and Sundargarh. While BJD had won Aska and Kandhamal in 2019 elections, the rest three had been bagged BJP. As the electoral fight appears to be closer this election, both parties have resorted to man-to-man marking.

Apart from seeking re-election from his home turf Hinjili Assembly seat in Ganjam district, the Chief Minister is also contesting from Kantabanji constituency in Balangir. He had also contested from two Assembly seats – Hinjili and Bijepur in Bargarh district – in 2019 polls. After getting elected from both the seats, he retained Hinjili.

Veteran tribal leader Jual Oram is contesting from Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat for the eighth time. The former Union Minister is pitted against BJD candidate and Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey and Janardan Dehury of Congress.

BJP MP from Balangir Sangeeta Singh Deo is seeking re-election from the constituency on saffron party ticket. She is locked in a keen contest with BJD’s Surendra Singh Bhoi and actor-turned-politician Manoj Mishra from Congress.

Sangeeta’s husband and former Odisha BJP president K V Singh Deo is seeking election from Patnagarh Assembly seat. He is pitted against sitting BJD MLA Saroj Meher and Anil Meher of Congress.

Dilip Ray is contesting election after a decade from Rourkela Assembly constituency under Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat. He is pitted against BJD nominee and Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak.

High-voltage campaigning for the second round came to an end on Saturday evening after reaching a crescendo. Top leaders of BJD and opposition BJP made a last-ditch effort to woo voters. Congress leaders tried their best to make their presence felt.

A battery of BJP heavyweights, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party’s national president J P Nadda as also Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states such as Assam, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan made whirlwind tours of the state and addressed marathon public meetings. This apart, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and MP Hema Malini were also in the state seeking support for their party candidates.

For the ruling BJD, most poll rallies were addressed by CM Naveen and his close aide V K Pandian. Similarly, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader and MP Rahul Gandhi had addressed two meetings in Kandhamal and Balangir.


OB Bureau

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