Lok Sabha 2019 constituency: Odisha’s Kalahandi seat will witness a triangular contest
Kalahandi parliamentary constituency is one of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha.
No party ever has been able to win the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat for two consecutive terms since 1980, except in 1984 and 1998 when the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had a formidable alliance.
The ruling BJD’s Arka Keshari Deo is the sitting member of Parliament from the Kalahandi seat in one of the most backward districts of the same name. However, the BJD has dropped the incumbent MP and named Dharmagarh MLA Pushpendra Singh Deo as a candidate from the seat.
The BJP has fielded its state unit president Basanta Panda in Kalahandi replacing Pradipta Naik, who lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election to Deo. The BJD had poached Deo, whose father Bikram Keshari Deo was the BJP lawmaker from Kalahandi from 1998 to 2009, in 2014.
The Congress party has nominated senior leader Bhakta Charan Das from Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat.
Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat will go to polls in the first phase on April 11 and votes will be counted on May 23.
Here are some quick facts about the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat:
Name of the Lok Sabha constituency: Kalahandi
Names of candidates: Basanta Kumar Panda (BJP), Bhakta Charan Das (INC)
Polling date: April 11
Sitting MP, party: Arka Keshari Deo, BJD
Winning margin in 2014: 56,347
Runner up name, party: Pradipta Kumar Naik, BJP
Number of voters in 2014: 1,117,536
Percentage of votes polled in 2014: 75.81%
Number of women voters in 2014: 723,441
Number of polling booths in 2014: 1,892