SAMBALPUR: Retaining the Kuchinda Assembly segment may prove to be an uphill task for BJP.Party candidate and sitting MLA Rabinarayan Naik is facing a tough fight from his rivals - Kishore Naik of BJD and Sovaram Padhan of Congress. The tribal leader who has been elected from the segment thrice is trying to woo voters by raising issues like failure of the BJD Government and various developmental works and welfare measures undertaken by the NDA Government at the Centre.
Kishore, the former general secretary of Sambalpur district BJD, was once a close aide of Rabinarayan. He resigned from the saffron party and joined BJD before declaration of the 2019 polls. He is banking on the clean image of Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik and various developmental works and welfare measures undertaken by the State Government.
Kishore is also getting the support of influential leader and the party candidate for adjoining Jharsuguda Assembly seat Naba Kishore Das. Naba is campaigning for Kishore in different parts of the constituency.
Sovaram, the former president of Sambalpur Zilla Parishad, is raking up Congress promises of farm loan waiver and minimum support price (MSP) of `2,600 per quintal of paddy along with failure of both the State and Central governments.
Kuchinda Assembly constituency covers Kuchinda NAC and three blocks - Kuchinda, Bamra and Jamankira. In 2014 elections, Rabinarayan had defeated BJD candidate Bhubaneswar Kisan by a huge margin of 22,064 votes. While Rabinarayan got 68,409 votes, Bhubaneswar managed to get 46,345 votes and Rajendra Kumar Chhatria of Congress got 32,770 votes.
Rabinarayan had also represented the constituency in 2000 and 2004. However, Rajendra had snatched the seat from the sitting MLA in the 2009 polls by a margin of 12,712 votes.