Pradeep Pattanayak

The electoral battle for the Nuapada Assembly seat is going to be a high-profile and high-octane contest as all the three main parties-the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress-have fielded their top leaders. 

Reposing faith in its old warhorse, the BJD has repeated its three-time MLA and Planning and Coordination Minister, Rajendra Dholakia. He has won the seat thrice in 2004, 2009, and 2019. 

Dholakia is locking horns with BJP’s Abhinandan Panda, son of Kalahandi MP and former BJP state president Basant Panda and Odisha Congress chief, Sarat Pattanayak. 

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“With Odisha’s development, Nuapada has progressed. From the response of the people, I think the result will be in my favour,” said Dholakia. 

Since senior Panda is a seasoned politician, he will make use of his skills and organisation to ensue his son’s win. On the other hand, being the president of Nuapada BJP Yuva Morcha, Abhinandan is coming in direct contact with the voters. 

“BJD candidate Dholakia’s name is associated with many corruptions and scams like the DAP fertiliser scam. I will reach out to the people with the message of Modiji. For people, the BJP is the only alternative left,” said Abhinandan Panda. 

Since the announcement of candidate names, Sarat Pattanayak has been the centre of all discussions here. Earlier, the Nuapada constituency was under the Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency. Since Pattanaik was Bolangir MP in 1991, he has a support base. 

“I hope Nuapada people will give me an opportunity to serve them,” said Pattanayak. 

Meanwhile, political observers are of the opinion that the Nuapada fight is going to be a four-cornered one. This is so because Nuapada Zilla Adivasi Sangha has given its consent to former MLA Ghasiram Majhi to join the fray as an independent candidate. 

“Earlier, the fight was being viewed as triangular. But with the emergence of Ghasiram Majhi, it is going to be a four-cornered one,” said Ghanashaym Bhoi, a political analyst.

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