Odisha Elections 2024: BJP’s Upasana Takes On BJD’s Umakanta In Brahmagiri Assembly Seat

Bhubaneswar: Known for its special identity in Odisha’s political landscape, Brahmagiri Assembly constituency in Puri district is all set to witness a straight fight between the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming elections. While both the political parties have changed their candidates this time, Congress is yet to announce its nominee for Brahmagiri Assembly seat.


BJP has fielded Upasana Mohapatra, niece of sitting party MLA Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, in the politically significant seat this time. Similarly, the ruling BJD has nominated Umakanta Mohapatra, who was elected from nearby Satyabadi Assembly constituency in 2019 elections. BJD leader and former Minister Sanjay Das Burma, who was defeated by BJP’s Lalitendu in Brahmagiri last time, has been fielded from Satyabadi Assembly seat in place of Umakant. One has to wait and see if Upasana will be able to ensure lotus bloom again in Berahmagiri or the conch party’s experiment in bringing Umakanta will yield result in the Assembly constituency.

With the twin elections fast approaching, Brahmagiri is likely to witness a keen contest this time. Upasana, daughter of former MLA late Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, has already stepped up her campaign in the coastal constituency where her uncle Lalitendu had emerged victorious in 2019. Already active at the grassroots level in the area, Upasana is now reaching out to the people and undertaking intensive tours of the constituency in her effort to take her father’s political legacy forward.

Brahmagiri witnessed intense battle between Lalatendu aka Lulu and Sanjay for many years. Lulu had been elected from Brahmagiri by winning three consecutive Assembly elections in 1995, 2000 and 2004 as Congress candidate. However, Sanjay Das Burma won the elections in 2009 and 2014 in Brahmagiri. After Lulu’s demise, his brother Lalitendu and daughter Upasana had joined BJP. Lalitendu fought 2019 elections from Brahmagiri as a BJP candidate and defeated Sanjay Das Burma, while Upasana is trying to ensure BJP victory in the constituency. Being presented as a dynamic youth leader by BJP, Upasana has been campaigning along with saffron party’s Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra.

The ruling BJD, on its part, has adopted a new strategy by shuffling candidates this time. Umakant has been fielded in Brahmagiri by the regional party in place of Sanjay Das Burma, who has been made the BJD candidate in Satyabadi Assembly seat. As BJD is trying to capture the constituency, Umakant has already intensified his campaign by visiting every panchayat areas in the constituency and organising motorcycle rallies. The BJD candidate is heavily banking on party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s image and the various development programmes launched by the state government. Umakanta has won Satyabadi Assembly seat in 2014 and 2019 elections. On the other hand, Upasana is targeting Umakant, branding him as an outsider and a visitor for the people of Brahmagiri.

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