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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • A study of the BJD strategy for polls over the years reveal that the party has changed the horses in the constituencies where the vote share of the party had posted a drastic decline over the years. The instances from Berhampur to the Balangir district are evident in this BJD strategy.  

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's experiment seems to have borne fruits in Cuttack. In the big win by Subash Singh in the Cuttack Mayoral polls, the Party is believed to have discovered its 2024 MLA candidate for the Barbati-Cuttack Assembly constituency.  

As per a top party leader, there is a grandiose strategy behind CM Patnaik picking up Singh for the mayor post, despite him being a sitting Rajya Sabha member.

"Post the Dhal Samanta Bros - Debashis Samantray episode in Cuttack, and BJD vote share plummeting to 34.7 percent in 2019 from 45.8 percent in 2014 and 53.8 percent in 2009 in the Barbati-Cuttack assembly segment, when in contrast the vote share of Congress went up from 28.4 percent in 2009 to 34.4 percent in 2014 and 37.6 percent in 2019, the top leadership in the party was on the lookout for a new face. In such scheme of things, CM Patnaik pitted sitting RS member Subash Singh in the direct mayor election. And Singh's bumper victory gives wings to the BJD plan for Cuttack," explained a very senior leader from coastal Odisha in the Party.

Naveen's Cuttack Lab

The assembly segment of Barbati-Cuttack is housing more than half of the CMC wards. When a total of 32 wards of CMC fall in this Assembly Constituency, 21 comes under the Choudwar-Cuttack and 6 in Cuttack-Sadar assembly segments, respectively.

While Debashis Samantray has been BJD's face in Barabati-Cuttack, Pravat Biswal's son Souvik Biswal has been the party's face in the Choudwar-Cuttack segment. The Cuttack Sadar has been the bastion of former sports and IT minister Chandrasarathi Behera.

To test the Mahanadi waters, CM Patnaik has fielded Subash Singh as the party's mayor candidate for which direct voting will take place. And this will help the BJD to know who is the winning horse.

The Mayor poll results show that BJD's Subash Singh polled a whopping 1.13 lakh votes. This time Singh polled nearly 48,000-50,000 votes more than Debashis Samantray in Barbati Cuttack Assembly Constituency.

The BJD polled the highest of around 57633 votes in the 2014 Assembly elections, however, it nosedived to 46,417 in 2019 Assembly polls.

On the other hand, Subash Singh has polled over 80,000 votes in the Barbati-Cuttack segment. The winner shield for BJD shows that Congress polled almost around 50,000-52,000 votes in the Assembly segment. The incumbent legislator of Barbati-Cuttack Mojammad Mouqim of the Indian National Congress had polled 50,244 votes in the 2019 assembly polls.

In the Mayor poll results, BJP's Sritam Das had polled around 40,000 odd votes in the Constituency. The BJP candidate has polled nearly 7-8k votes more than BJP veteran Samir Dey, who polled around 33,800 votes.

Given that Congress has almost retained its voter base and BJP has increased its share in the AC, the analysis, therefore, shows that the BJD candidate has been able to draw new voters for the party.

With BJD taking a lead of over 30k votes over Congress in the Assembly Constituency, the party is confident of reclaiming the lost seat in the 2024 polls.

Will Singh Be The King?

As per the top BJD leader, one shouldn't be surprised if CM Patnaik fields Mayor Singh as the party candidate in the Assembly Constituency in the 2024 Assembly elections. After all, Singh has been dispatched to the Mayor battlefield, when 4-years of his tenure are still left, the leader quipped.

BJD Trend

A study of the BJD strategy for polls over the years reveal that the party has changed the horses in the constituencies where the vote share of the party had posted a drastic decline over the years. The instances from Berhampur to Balangir are evident in this BJD strategy.  

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