Uninterrupted Rule for 24 Years, But BJD Never Won This Odisha LS Seat, Assemblies Under It. Can It Change Status Quo?


Naveen Patnaik has been the head of Odisha without a break since March 2000 --- 24 years and a little over two months. (PTI)

Naveen Patnaik has been the head of Odisha without a break since March 2000 — 24 years and a little over two months. (PTI)

Not just in the Lok Sabha, but at least four assemblies falling under the seat — Talsara, Sundargarh, Biramitrapur, and Bonai — have never voted for the BJD in the five elections held since the year 2000

Naveen Patnaik has been the head of Odisha without a break since March 2000 — 24 years and a little over two months. He is just a few months short of becoming the longest-serving chief minister of an Indian state, surpassing Pawan Kumar Chamling’s record of 24.5 years.

Yet, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the largest party in each assembly and Lok Sabha election in Odisha since 2000, has failed to get elected from the Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat even once. Not just in the Lok Sabha, but at least four assemblies falling under the seat — Talsara, Sundargarh, Biramitrapur, and Bonai — have never voted for the BJD in the five elections held since the year 2000. The elections on these five seats become more interesting as the state has witnessed simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections since 2004.

In the Lok Sabha battle, the BJP had a strong hand, although Congress too has been elected from the seat. The Congress won the polls in 2009 Lok Sabha. Except that year, the BJP had been winning from the seat since 1998 non-stop. Jual Oram, who is also a BJP candidate from Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat in 2024, was elected in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2014 and 2019.

The five-time BJP MP from Sundargarh won from the seat even in 2014, when BJD swept the polls in the state and won 20 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats.

The Assemblies

The Lok Sabha seat has seven assemblies and in at least four of these, the BJD had not won since 2000. It is important to note that until 2008, the BJD and BJP were allies.

In Talsara, in the last two polls — 2019 and 2014 — BJD was at the second position. While BJP won the 2019 polls, Congress won all the elections held between 2000 and 2014.

In Sundargarh assembly, the BJP has won thrice in 2000, 2004 and 2019 while the Congress was elected in 2009 and 2014. In the last three assembly polls, the BJD has been at the second position.

Biramitrapur and Bonai have not just rejected the BJD but also the Congress. Even BJP had not been very lucky from the seat. In Biramitrapur, BJP won only in 2019 and in Bonai, the BJP won in 2000 and 2009. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) has bagged Bonai thrice in 2019, 2014 and 2004. In 2019, BJD was second in these two seats.

The 2024 Battle

Sundargarh will go for polls on May 20 and so will the four assemblies.

For the Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat, a total of eight candidates are in the fray, including BJP’s Jual Oram, BJD’s Dilip Tirkey and Janardan Dehuri of Congress.

In almost all the assemblies, the contest is triangular.

From Bonai, former Congress MLA Bhimsen Choudhury is contesting from the BJD while BJP has fielded Sebati Naik. The list of 10 candidates also included CPIM’s Laxman Munda, who was elected in 2014 and 2019. The Aam Aadmi Party has named Kuni Munda from the seat. At least five candidates are trying their luck.

In Talsara assembly, eight candidates are in the fray. The list includes Congress leader Devendra Bhitria and BJD’s Binaya Kumar Toppo.

In Sundargarh assembly, eight candidates are in the fray, including BJP, BSP, BJD and Congress leaders.

A total of 13 candidates are contesting the Birmitrapur elections, including eight independent candidates. BJD has fielded Rohit Joseph Tirkey, a failed Congress candidate from 2019. Shankar Oram, the sitting BJP MLA, is also aiming to repeat the victory.

The results of both the Odisha assembly election and Lok Sabha polls will be announced on June 4.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule, Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase And Much More At News18 Website



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