Can Cong protect its citadel?

Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency is one of the major strongholds of the Congress in the entire country. This constituenc

Published: 07th March 2009 10:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2012 11:13 PM   |  A+A-

BERHAMPUR: Berhampur Lok Sabha constituency is one of the major strongholds of the Congress in the entire country. This constituency always stood firmly behind Congress in all the Lok Sabha elections till 14th Lok Sabha barring thrice.

Bijoy Das of CPI won the first Lok Sabha poll in 1951-52 from the constituency named Ganjam then while in the second Lok Sabha poll the constituency was represented by Independent Uma Charan Patnaik.

In the third Lok Sabha election in 1962 the constituency was renamed Chatrapur and AT Sharma of INC won the election. In the fourth Lok Sabha election, INC fielded R.Jagannath Rao who consecutively won from the seat till the eighth Lok Sabha election although the constituency was renamed Berhampur during the sixth Lok Sabha election.

In ninth Lok Sabha Poll in 1989 the INC changed its candidate and fielded Gopinath Gajapati who won and repeated his performance in the 10th Lok Sabha election in 1991.

As the seat proved to be a safe one for Congress, in 1996 the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao contested from the constituency and represented it in the 11th Lok Sabha. In the 12th Lok Sabha election in 1998 Congress put up Jayanti Patnaik who also emerged victorious.

Continuous winning by Congress from this constituency, irrespective of candidates, virtually made it a citadel for the party. But the citadel crumbled in the 13th Lok Sabha poll in 1999 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee wave when BJP candidate Anadi Sahu romped home. However, in the 14th Lok Sabha poll in 2004, Congress regained the seat with its candidate Chandra Sekhar Sahu defeating Anadi Sahu.

The constituency comprises Assembly segments like Gopalpur, Chikiti, Berhampur and Chatrapur of Ganjam district and Paralakhemundi, Ramgiri and Mohona of Gajapati district. After delimitation, Ramgiri segment has been abolished and a new segment Digapahandi created.

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