Odisha Elections 2024: Can BJD’s Dibya Shankar Score Hat-Trick In Junagarh Assembly Seat?

Bhubaneswar: With major political parties giving pace to their campaign for the twin elections in Odisha, poll warriors are now all set to hit the battlefield in Junagarh Assembly constituency in Kalahandi district.

Candidates of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as well as opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are ready for the battle in this politically significant Assembly segment. The stage is set for a fierce contest as the ruling BJD will make all out efforts to retain the seat for the third time in a row, while BJP and Congress will leave no stone unturned in their bid to taste victory.

Naveen Patnaik-led BJD has renominated former Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra to contest from Junagarh in his third consecutive fight from the seat. Mishra, popularly known as Captain, was embroiled in a controversy following opposition attack over Mamita Meher murder case. Though the ex-Minister was entangled in a raging controversy, the regional party has once again reposed faith and trust in him.

In his bid to score a hat-trick in the upcoming elections, Mishra has started reaching out to the people highlighting the performance of the BJD government in the state. Once considered a BJP bastion, Junagarh has been under the control of BJD for the last ten years. Apart from highlighting the different development and welfare programmes of the BJD government, Mishra is presenting his performance report over the last ten years before the people to get their support.

The BJD leader had defeated BJP candidate Manoj Meher by over 27,000 votes in 2019 Assembly elections. Similarly, he had recorded his first electoral victory in 2014 by defeating BJP nominee Anil Kumar Singhdeo by around 10,000 votes.

While making all out efforts to capture the Assembly seat, BJP has renominated Manoj Meher. The saffron party has been working hard to strengthen its organisation for the last five years. The BJP candidate is mainly banking on the work done by the Central government and the wave in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress, on the other hand has fielded Tuleswar Nayak, a close confidant of senior leader and former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das in Junagarh. The grand old party is trying to secure the support of women, youth, farmers and weaker sections, apart from winning its traditional tribal votes. The new face fielded by Congress will be seen in a keen contest with poll veterans of BJD and BJP.

Candidates of all the three major political parties have intensified their electioneering in the constituency to woo the voters ahead of polling. While the ruling BJD nominee claims about spurring transformation in all spheres in the state, BJP and Congress candidates are hitting out at Naveen Patnaik government accusing it of having failed to serve the people properly. Amid the rapidly changing political configurations ahead of the elections, one needs to wait and see if the regional party can win the Assembly seat for the third time in a row.

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