Odishatv Bureau

Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency in Odisha consists of Assembly segments such as Lanjigarh (ST), Junagarh, Dharmagarh, Bhawanipatna (SC), and Narla. 

In 2019, the seat saw a triangular contest between BJP’s Basant Kumar Panda, Congress candidate Bhakta Charan Das and Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Pushpendra Singh Deo. BJP leader Basant Panda won the seat by trouncing his nearest rival BJD Puspendra Singhdeo.

Interestingly, the major parties have not repeated their candidates. This time, the BJP did not repeat Basant Panda and rather gave ticket to a new face and a woman candidate like Malavika Keshari Singh Deo. She is the wife of former BJD MP Arka Keshari Deo (2014).

The BJD has given a ticket to Lambodar Nial instead of its previous candidate Pushpendra Singhdeo while Congress has fielded Draupadi Majhi instead of its previous candidate Bhakta Charan Das.  

Lamodar is contesting Lok Sabha for the first time. He had earlier contest from Khariar Asembly seat twice, but lost the polls. He was defeated by Congress’ candidate Adhiraj Panigrahi in 2019. Interestingly, Adhiraj has joined the BJD.

The BJD had lost this Lok Sabha seat in 2019 to the BJP by a vote margin of over 26,000. As per reports, since 2004, no parties have won the seat twice consecutively. The electorate has always changed the parties. 

In 2019, Basant Kumar Panda had defeated BJD’s Pushpendra Singhdev by polling 4,33,073 votes. Singhdeo got 4,06,260 votes while Bhakta Charan Das of the Congress secured 3,19,202 votes. 

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJD candidate Arka Keshari Deo won from the Kalahandi seat by securing 3,70,871 votes. BJP candidate Pradeep Kumar Nayak came second with 3,14,524 votes and Bhakta Charan Das of the Congress stood third with 3,07,967 votes.

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In 2009, the seat was won by Congress as its candidate Bhakta Charan Das grabbed the seat while the BJD wrested the seat from Congress in 2014. BJD candidate Arka Keshari Deo was elected from the seat then.