Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019 | Last Update : 05:05 PM IST

BJP faces tough battle in Keonjhar

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Apr 23, 2019, 1:29 am IST
Updated : Apr 23, 2019, 1:29 am IST

The BJP could take the battle to BJP camp, if the saffron party re-claims its heavy vote losses in the assembly segments of Telkoi and Ghasipura.

Scripting a win in  the mine-rich Keonjhar seat, which goes to the polls on Tuesday, looks an uphill task for the BJP and Congress.
 Scripting a win in the mine-rich Keonjhar seat, which goes to the polls on Tuesday, looks an uphill task for the BJP and Congress.

Bhubaneswar: Scripting a win in  the mine-rich Keonjhar seat, which goes to the polls on Tuesday, looks an uphill task for the BJP and Congress. While BJP has placed its faith on old warhorse Ananta Naik, Congress and BJD have brought in new faces.

The BJD has pitted Chandrani Murmu, daughter of former Keonjhar MP and Congress leader Harihar Soren, while the Congress had fielded Fakir Mohan Patnaik.

Keonjhar was once a Congress bastion. The party had won the LS seat as many as six times since 1952 while the BJP had won the seat thrice between 1998 and 2004, when the party had an alliance with BJD. After the break-up, the BJD had wrested the seat from the BJP. And the party has increased its lead in all the Assembly seats since then.

However, there are instances galore when the constituency voted in tandem with the national  trend. In 1977, Keonjhar had voted out the Congress during the anti-Emergency wave sweeping across the country at the time. The moot point then is, in 2019 elections will Keonjhar follow the nation?

In the 2014 elections, the BJP had lost over one lakh votes from its tally in 2009. However, the saffron party had gained around 21,000 votes in three Assembly segments, Patna, Keonjhar and Karanjia, under the LS.

The BJP could take the battle to BJP camp, if the saffron party re-claims its heavy vote losses in the assembly segments of Telkoi and Ghasipura.

Ghasipura, the fortress of school and mass education minister Badri Narayan Patra, had been the BJD’s voting machine in Keonjhar. The constituency had contributed nearly 30 per cent of the total votes the BJD LS candidate Shakuntala Laguri garnered in 2014 polls.

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Tags: keonjhar district, badri narayan patra, harihar soren