Senior Congress leader and former minister Prakash Chandra Debta faces an uphill task in Bhatli Assembly constituency as a Congress rebel threatens to eat into the party’s vote bank.
Traditionally a Congress seat with former Congress Minister Mohan Nag elected four times from the constituency, the seat is all set to see a triangular contest between Debta, sitting BJD MLA Susanta Singh and Congress rebel candidate Sushanta Mishra. Congress has fielded five-time MLA Debta after the delimitation of the Assembly segment.
The desertion of Mishra, a protege of Debta, from Congress is likely to cost the party heavily.
Mishra filed as an Independent candidate after Debta was announced as the Congress candidate from the constituency.
Mishra may divide Congress votes and can also tap the CPI support base in the constituency.
The BJP has also fielded a new face Souri Barik from the constituency hoping to divide the Kulta vote bank.
Senior leader and former BJP state president Bimbadhar Kuanr who had won elections from Bhatli recently left the party and joined BJD.