Berhampur goes to Polls; Bhrugu and Pradeep Panigrahi try their Luck

TNI Bureau: Voting for the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat and the 13 assembly constituencies under it began from 7 AM as Odisha went to the first phase polling today. Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi, once a close aide of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and Bhrugu Baxipatra, former state vice president of BJP, are trying their luck today.

While Pradeep was expelled from the party in 2020 on anti-people charges, and is now fielded by BJP, Bhrugu Baxipatra earned a ticket from the state ruling BJD within hours after snapping his 23-year-old ties with the BJP.

In 2019 elections, Bhrugu had lost to BJD’s Chandra Sekhar Sahu by a margin of 94,844 votes. But with the massive support of BJD leaders, workers and people he now looks very strong. The conch party has won the seat in the last 3 elections.

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On the other hand, Pradeep, who once managed political affairs on behalf of Naveen in latter’s Hinjili Assembly seat and has a strong hold in the Ganjam politics, is also not leaving any stones unturned to win the LS seat.

Apart from the Berhampur LS seat, the saffron party also has been trying its best to win a few assembly seats under the LS segment, which sends 13 MLAs to the state Assembly, the highest for any district in the state, and is BJD’s stronghold. In 2019, the state ruling party had won 12 of 13 seats with Congress a solitary seat in Ganjam.

Congress party has fielded its youth leader Rashmi Ranjan Patnaik from the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat.

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