Bhubaneswar: Bargarh in Odisha is one of the high profile Lok Sabha constituencies that will go to polls in the second phase on the 18th of this month. This is the third general elections the people of Bargarh will witness after the creation of this constituency in 2008. There will be simultaneous elections for the 7 assembly segments coming under this.
The constituency holds importance as Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik himself is contesting from Bijepur, one of the assembly constituencies under Bargarh Lok Sabha seat.
Senior leader and Rajya Sabha Member Prasanna Acharya is the Biju Janata Dal’s Candidate from Bargarh. He will be fighting against BJP’s Suresh Pujari and Congress’ Pradeep Debata.
While Prasanna Acharya is a veteran in western Odisha, the opponents are seen lacking the vigor to fight him out. All the three prominent candidates are fighting for the first time from the constituency.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Suresh Pujari for the Bargarh constituency. Earlier he had contested from the Sambalpur Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 and lost to BJD’s Nagendra Pradhan. Congress’s Pradeep Debata is a new face in the elections this time.
The equations in Bargarh seem to be in favor of the Biju Janata Dal. While there was no opposition to Prasanna Acharya’a candidature from BJD, the BJP has seen protests on fielding Suresh Pujari from Bargarh. Suresh Pujari has a stronghold in Sambalpur. In the last general elections, he stood second with more than three lakh 28 thousand votes from Sambalpur LS constituency.
What is interesting to see is, this time former BJP strongman from Bargarh Subash Chouhan is with the Biju Janata Dal now.
During the last elections, Chouhan had lost the seat with a slender margin of only 11 thousand votes contesting from the BJP. As he was not given a chance to contest this time, he left BJP and joined the BJD. He will be an asset for the BJD not only in Bargarh but also in whole western Odisha.
In 2014 elections, BJD’s Prabas Kumar Singh won the seat defeating Subash Chouhan by only a margin of 11 thousand and 178 votes.
Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency consists of seven assembly segments under it namely Padampur, Bijepur, Bargarh, Attabira, Bhatli and Brajarajnagar.
In the Bargarh assembly constituency, a bipolar competition looks imminent between the Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party as the Congress has fielded a comparatively weak candidate. The sitting BJD legislator from Bargarh Debesh Acharya will lock horns with BJP’s Aswini Sarangi. Congress seems to be out of race as it has fieled Nipon Dash from the seat denying ticket to former MLA Sadhu Nepak. Nepak has since joined the BJD.
The charisma of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the public relations of Debesh maintaining are going to help him in the polls. Along with this the developmental works speak for the BJD candidate. Aswini Sarangi on the other hand has been counting on the Modi magic. Though he has a good rapport with the public, it somehow gets hampered because of internal feud in the party. Another factor that is going to help the BJD is Subash Chouhan joining it. It will have a positive impact on the poll outcome.
The Bijepur assembly constituency is in limelight ever since the Chief Minister announced that he will fight from here. Naveen’s clean image and popularity will definitely help him in winning the seat with a huge margin. The other two contestants BJP’s Sanat Gadtia and the Congress’s Ripunath Seth are nowhere near to the chief minister’s popularity. Gadtia had quit the BJD and joined BJP last year when Rita Sahu joined the BJD and given the ticket for the by-elections from Bijepur following the death of her husband and sitting MLA Subal Sahu. Subala was atrong man in Bijepur and won the times from the constituency. So, the verdict is clear and no one can deny that Naveen has a cake walk here.
The same equations are seen in the remaining five segments under Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency. In Padampur, Bijayaranjan Singh Bariha if fighting with BJP’s Pradeep Purohit. Purohit is a strong man in Padampur. The sitting MLA has a good base in the area and his oratory skills will definitely help him attracting votes. He is going to give a tough fight to BJD’s Bariha. On the other hand Bariha has also a good support in Padampur. During the last elections he had narrowly missed the seat to Pradeep Purohit. Naveen’s focus on western Odisha is going to help BJD’s candidate here.
Likewise the BJD is hopeful of getting the Atabira, Bhatli and Jharsuguda seats to its fold by choosing strong candidates. Snehangini Churia and Susant Singh were ministers in Naveen’s government, and have done considerable developmental work in their respective constituencies. In Jharsuguda, Nabakishore Dash is the local favorite. He joined the BJD and made it easy for the party to win. In Brajrajnagar, the sitting MLA Radharani Panda may give a tough completion to Kishore Mohanty. She has the skills to attract good number of voters. However, the Naveen wave may make it tough for Radharani this time.