Mahesh Sahoo dares Pradhan to contest from Pallahara
Bhubaneswar: Amid speculation that Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan may contest from Pallahara Assembly constituency during the upcoming elections, the incumbent BJD legislator, Mahesh Sahoo, dared him to contest from the seat.
Speaking at the centenary celebration of Munduribeda primary school in Angul Sunday, Pradhan had hinted at contesting from Pallahara, his old constituency.
The reason also seems very clear that it is likely to be an easy task for Pradhan to grab the seat as BJP has secured second position in almost all the polls conducted after 2000, when the BJD formed the government.
“To my knowledge, Pradhan will not contest from anywhere in Odisha. He will neither contest for Lok Sabha nor for Assembly elections. BJD will always welcome him if he contests from the state and I will personally welcome him if he contests from my constituency,” Sahoo said here.
Claiming Pradhan will not win the seat, the BJD legislator said, “The BJD and I have the capacity of winning hearts of people. They (BJP) might have money and muscle power, but they lack organisational structure. Had money been so important, the Tatas and Birlas would also have adorned the Prime Minister’s seat. They (BJP) should think of 2024.”
Reacting to the statement of Sahoo, state BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said the BJD leaders are awash with ego because of their 19 years of rule and rampant corruption. “Deep in corruption, the BJD leaders are now scared of losing power and such comments are the results,” he added.
Pradhan had grabbed the seat in 2000 from BJP while he and his father (Debendra Pradhan) lost it in 2004 and 2009 respectively.
BJD has won the seat in last two consecutive elections. While Sahoo won the seat in the last election (2014), Rabi Narayan Pani won it in 2009. Nrusingha Sahoo, who is now in BJD, had won the seat from Congress ticket in 2004 whereas Dharmendra Pradhan grabbed the seat in 2000 from BJP ticket.
In 2014, BJD had secured 44,264 (34.59 per cent) votes while BJP received 38,970 (30.46) votes and 18,487 (14.45) votes went to the Congress. Vote share of the three principal political parties in 2009 is BJD 40,980 (37.96%), BJP 35,513 (32.90%) and Congress 21,258 (19.69%).
The area of the constituency was big, which was delimited in 2009. BJD had not fielded its candidates in 2004 and 2000 as BJP and BJD had shared sates for two polls. Congress had got 73,907 while BJP got 58,378 votes in 2004. In 2000, BJP had won the seat securing 40, 361 votes whereas Congress got 22,986 votes. Nrusingha Sahoo was the runner-up in 2000 with 30,482 votes as an Independent candidate.