Odishatv Bureau

Odisha’s Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat is bracing up for an intense fight with Achyutananda Samanta (better known as Achyuta Samanta) of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Sukanta Kumar Panigrahi of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Amir Chand Nayak of Congress among others being in the fray, vying for the seat.
 
One of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies, Kandhamal has been a BJD fortress since its formation after the delimitation in 2008. 

In 2009, 2014 and  2019 general elections, BJD’S Rudramadhav Ray, Hemendra Chandra Singh and Achyuta Samanta won from this seat.

This year, the conch party has repeated Samanta. And the Congress and the BJP have fielded Amirchand Nayak and Sukanta Kumar Panigrahi, respectively, against Samanta. 

While Nayak is an ex-GST commissioner, Panigrahi is a BJP leader who fought unsuccessfully against BJD’s Hemendra Chandra Singh in 2014.

In 2019, Samanta polled 4,61,679 votes while BJP’s Mahameghabahan Aira Kharavel Swain and Congress’s Manoj Kumar Acharya secured 3,12,463 and 1,38,493 votes respectively.

Samanta defeated Swain, a three-time MP from Balasore, by a margin of 1.5 lakh votes.

In 2014, BJD’s Hemendra Chandra Singh won from the seat by securing 4,21,226 votes.

Congress’s Harihara Karan came second with polling 2,40,348 votes and BJP’s Sukanta Kumar Panigrahi came third with 1,08,586 votes.

Similarly in 2009, BJD’s Rudramadhav Ray had an easy victory. While he secured 3,15,206 votes, his opponent Congress’ Sujit Kumar Padhi polled 1,64,231 votes. BJP’s Ashok Sahu came third with 1,46,892 votes.

Like in 2019, when the fight was primarily between Samanta and Swain, this election will also witness a fight between Samanta and Panigrahi.

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While Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat encompasses four districts like Kandhamal, Boudh, Ganjam and Nayagarh, the Assembly constituencies coming under it are Baliguda, G Udayagiri, Phulbani, Kantamal, Boudh, Dasapalla and Bhanjanagar.

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