Odishatv Bureau

In the political sphere, Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat is better known as the epicenter of Western Odisha. The electoral battle for this seat is going to be a high-profile and high-octane with Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Dharmendra Pradhan, Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Pranab Prakash Das and Congress’ Nagendra Pradhan crossing swords for the seat. 

The upcoming poll is going to be an acid test for Pradhan, who is returning to electoral politics after a 15-year hiatus. A minister in the cabinet of Narendra Modi, Pradhan was elected from Pallahara constituency in 2000 and in 2004, he was elected to Lok Sabha from Deogarh seat. He last unsuccessfully contested the Assembly election from the Pallahara seat in 2009. 
In 2012 and 2018, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh respectively. 

The BJD’s pick, Pranab Prakash Das, who is known as Bobby Das is a three-time MLA from Jajpur seat. Pranab is the son of late Ashok Das, a popular Janata Dal leader. 

Junior Das is known for his organizational skill. This is perhaps why he has been made the general secretary (organsiation) of the party and is close to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and VK Pandian. 

To say, both BJP and BJD have fielded their warring horses, making the fight a high-octane one. 

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Nitesh Ganga Deb won polling 4,71,382 votes, followed by BJD’s Nalini Kanta Pradhan (4,64,063 votes) and Congress’ Sarat Pattanayak (1,35,672 votes). 

Similarly, the seat went to BJD with its candidate Nagendra Pradhan securing 3,58, 139 votes, followed by BJP’s Suresh Pujari (3,25,743 votes) and Congress’ Amarnath Pradhan (2,41,757 votes).

In 2009, Congress’ Amarnath Pradhan had polled 3,04,839 votes, followed by BJD’s Rohit Pujari (2,89,908 votes)  and BJP’s Surendra Lath (1,50,839 votes).

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