PHULBANI: A pitched battle is likely among BJD candidate Achyuta Samanta, Kharbela Swain of BJP and Manoj Acharya of Congress in the Kandhamal Parliamentary constituency which will go to polls in the second phase on April 18.
The Assembly segments under the Parliamentary constituency are also poised for multi-cornered contests. The Phulbani Assembly segment with eight contenders is all set to witness an interesting contest between Kishor Chandra Kanhar of Congress, Angad Kanhar of BJD and Deb Narayana Pradhan of BJP. While the BJD is trying hard to retain the seat, BJP is keen to snatch it and Congress with a limited base, trying to prove its existence.
In G Udayagiri, seven contestants are in fray but the fight is among BJP candidate Archana Pradhan, Saluga Pradhan of BJD, Syamaghana Pradhan of Congress and Independent contestant Jacob Pradhan. In Baliguda segment, six contenders are in the race but the fight is between Karendra Majhi of BJP and Chakaramani Kanhar of BJD.
A tough fight is on cards for the Bhanjanagar Assembly segment as Minister and five-time MLA Bikram Keshari Arukha is determined to get re-elected. He is pitted against Pradyumna Nayak of BJP and Sanjay Tripathy of Congress. In Daspalla, the fight is triangular with Ramesh Chandra Behera of BJD facing a fight from Purnachandra Nayak of BJP and Prasant Kumar Nayak of Congress. Nayak had won the seat in the 2014 polls on a BJD ticket.
In Boudh, Odisha Legislative Assembly Speaker Pradeep Kumar Amat, who has been representing the segment since last 19 years is hoping to retain it. However, he will face a tough fight from Susant Pradhan of BJP and Abakash Sahu of CPI. The Kantamal Assembly segment is poised for a multi-cornered contest among Mahidhar Rana of BJD, Kanhei Charan Dang of BJP, Prasant Sahu of Congress and Independent candidate Sesha Kumar Meher.