The BJP candidate from Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency Jay Panda is trailing by a margin of more than 50,000 votes against BJD's actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty. Congress candidate Dharanidhar Nayak is a distant third.
Panda's defeat will be a huge political setback for him and his party. On the other hand, a BJD win will also be seen as a personal victory for CM Naveen Patnaik.
The poll battle for Kendrapara is considered to be a battle between the BJD president and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Panda, his estranged friend. Panda had quit the BJD in 2019 to join the BJP after the duo had a bitter fallout in the previous year.
ALSO READ: Lok Sabha elections 2019 results LIVE
Panda had represented Kendrapara in the 15th Lok Sabha under the BJD's banner. He has been to the parliament from Odisha several times before that. Kendrapara is also significant as it elected heavyweights like Naveen's father and former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik thrice to the Lok Sabha in the 1977, 1980 and 1984 general elections.
After he joined the BJP, Panda was named the national vice president and spokesperson of the saffron party and was subsequently nominated from Kendrapara.