Lok Sabha elections 2019: Direct BJP-BJD fight in 4 of 6 Odisha seats voting in phase four
In the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019, more than 9.5 million voters in the 6 Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies are eligible to cast their votes in 10792 polling boothsUpdated: Apr 28, 2019 18:00 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
The fate of four housewives, an Odia actor-turned-politician, two businessmen-turned politicians, a RSS oldtimer, a doctor and a former state administrative service officer would be decided as six Lok Sabha and 42 assembly constituencies go to polls in the fourth phase of polls on April 29.
In the fourth phase, more than 9.5 million voters in the 6 Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies are eligible to cast their votes in 10792 polling booths. There are 52 candidates in fray in the 6 Lok Sabha segments and 346 candidates in 42 assembly segments. The six Lok Sabha constituencies that are going to polls in the fourth and final phase are Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur.
In 2014 polls, BJD had won all the 6 Lok Sabha seats and 37 of the 42 assembly seats where polling will be held on April 29.
The most high-pitched battle would be fought in Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency where four-time MP Baijayant Jay Panda is contesting on BJP ticket against Odia actor Anubhav Mohanty of Biju Janata Dal. Though Mohanty is a lightweight, the actual battle is being fought between chief minister Naveen Patnaik and his bete nore Panda.
Once family friends, Baijayant and Patnaik had a bitter fallout with the former bring forced out of BJD last year following growing differences with chief minister. So bitter was the fallout that last year that when Panda’s industrialist father Bansidhar Panda died at the age of 87, Patnaik did not even visit his house to pay his last respects.
In the battle of high-stakes, a defeat for Panda would mean a huge setback to his political ambitions while a defeat of BJD would mean a huge personal setback for the 73-year-old chief minister.
The other high profile constituency where the battle is getting interesting is Balasore Lok Sabha constituency. While sitting BJD MP Rabindra Jena is again pitted against RSS old-timer and member of BJP’s national executive Pratap Sarangi, Congress has brought in Navajyoti Patnaik, son of PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik, who had unsuccessfully contested the seat in 2004.
While Congress is on a decline in rest of the State, in Balasore it still has pockets of influence. Jena and Sarangi are resourceful with no dearth of funds while Sarangi is banking on his clean image with deep Hindutva roots. BJP had won the seat consecutively between 1998 and 2004.
In neighbouring Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha constituency, the battle is again three-way among BJD, BJP and JMM. Though BJP had done well in the 2017 panchayat polls winning the zilla parishad president’s post, BJD claims to have recovered lost ground. Debashis Marndi, a doctor-turned-politician of BJD would take on Bisweswar Tudu of BJP and Anjani Soren Marndi of JMM. Anjani is daughter of JMM chief Shibu Soren.
In three of the six Lok Sabha constituencies, BJD has given tickets to women keeping with Naveen Patnaik’s promise of 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha.
In the six Lok Sabha constituencies, the fight is directly between BJP and BJD in at least four seats of Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur.
First Published: Apr 28, 2019 17:59 IST