The sitting Congress MP, Chandra Sekhar Sahu, is facing a spirited challenge from a Oriya film artiste Siddhant Mohapatra, a BJD nominee, in the prestigious Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency.
Sahu, a Union minister of state for rural development, is also pitted against BJP’s Bharat Paik who is the sitting MLA of Ramgiri assembly constituency which no longer exists after the delimitation exercise.
Nestled in the foothills of the Eastern Ghats, Berhampore, which goes to poll on April 16, was once represented by former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.
Mohapatra, who is new in politics, says, "Though I am new, I appeal to the people to vote for BJD to strengthen the hands of party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik."
While the BJD nominee charged the Congress candidate with neglecting the constituency even though he was a minister at the Centre, Sahu was unfazed by the attack.
"Politics is not that simple as acting in the stage," he says.
The minister, however, released a booklet where he mentioned that over Rs 400 crore central funds had been spent during last five years to develop the infrastructures in the constituency. This is besides his MPLAD fund.