Baijayant set for high-profile campaign in K’pada LS seat

  • | Monday | 22nd April, 2024

BJP vice president Baijayant (Jay) Panda, who got party ticket for the prestigious Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat, while attending poll campaign at Chandol, dropped hints that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah would come to Kendrapada to address rallies in coming days.   Panda also informed that apart from the Prime Minister, the partys other high profile and stalwart leaders like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and national level BJP women leaders will also come to campaign for him.    According to political analysts, as Panda has lost his sheen as a peoples leader and his popularity has gone downwards, he is going to lose the poll by a bigger margin than his performance in the last poll. So, he is set for a high-profile campaign by all heavyweight leaders of BJP as he fears the fight would be tough in Kendrapada.     PM Modi came to Baro field under Kendrapada Lok Sabha constituency in 2019 to campaign for Panda. Besides, BJP leaders Arun Singh and Dharmendra Pradhan too campaigned for him but at the end of the day, Panda lost the election and that too by a huge margin of about 1.50 lakh votes, said political analyst Ganesh Samal. He added that in 2024 also, the rallies by heavyweight leaders would have no effect.   Veteran Congress leader Nityananda Kanungo was the only person to win the Parliamentary seat of Kendrapada once way back in 1952. Ever since the Lok Sabha seat has turned an anti-Congress bastion as it has always gone into the kitty of the non-Congress leaders. Several prominent Congress leaders of the State like Basant Biswal, Bhagabat Mohanty, Surendra Mohanty, Batakrushna Nayak, former Union Minister Srikant Jena and Archana Nayak contested elections from Kendrapada though unsuccessfully.   After Praja Socialist Party became weaker, Janata Dal under the leadership of Biju Patnaik held sway in Kendrapada by depriving the Congress leaders of any chance to win Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat ever. Though Bijubabu is no more, still the love for him is intact in Kendrapada.   Notably, in the 7th General Elections of 1980, when the pro- Congress wave swept through the nation, the electorate of Kendrapada had chosen non-Congress leader Biju Patnaik. Similarly, when the sympathy wave for Rajiv Gandhi was on a crescendo during the 8th Lok Sabha election in 1984, following the death of former Prime Minister and Rajivs mother Indira Gandhi, Kendrapada too sent Janata Dal leader Biju to the Parliament.   After the demise of Biju, the seat was repeatedly won by the BJD, the party formed on the ideals of the legendary leader. Here, Panda was earlier elected twice but as a BJD nominee. When he shifted his allegiance and contested on the BJP ticket, he was defeated.   Meanwhile, the way of campaigning by Panda has made him an object of public scorn and criticism as he has been dropping pushing cards from a helicopter, in which the locals and the children were found getting injured while running to collect the cards, alleged sources.

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