ROURKELA: Political equations in the Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency and seven Assembly segments under it are changing fast with just a day to go for the second phase polling.
The fight in the Rajgangpur Assembly segment has become triangular and the BJP nominee and Sundargarh Sarpanch Association president Narsingh Minz may emerge as a dark horse.
The Congress nominee CS Rajan Ekka was a strong contender to defeat veteran BJD leader and sitting MLA Mangla Kisan in a constituency where converted Christian voters play a decisive role. Congress was hoping for victory by cornering sizable Christian votes. But, two Christian rebel candidates of Congress and two Independent Christian candidates are queering the pitch for the grand old party.
The BJP hopes to gain from this and to its benefit, former BJD leader Bikram Toppo, who as Independent had secured about 12,000 votes in 2014, has joined the party three days back.
Minz says BJP’s fight is with BJD. He said 48 sarpanchs in Rajgangpur Assembly segment and 279 sarpanchs under Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency are against the BJD Government over non-fulfilment of various demands.
Meanwhile, Congress Sundargarh Lok Sabha candidate George Tirkey suffered another blow recently when his friend in PESA rights movement and former JMM MLA Halu Mundari deserted him.
In the Sundargarh Assembly segment, even BJD insiders admit BJP’s Kusum Tete has consolidated her position against Jogesh Singh, who recently quit as Congress MLA to join BJD. Congress insiders admit the party is a weak third force in the Sundargarh Assembly segment.
After Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik road show on Tuesday BJD’s sitting MLA Subrat Tarai is back in the reckoning. He is facing tough fight from rebel BJD leader and Congress candidate Prashant Sethi and BJP nominee Jaganbandhu Behera.
So far, both the BJP and Congress look equally powerful in Birmitrapur segment, while the BJD is behind them owing to infighting and lack of coordination.
In the Rourkela Assembly seat, BJD’s Sarada Prasad Nayak seems to be in a comfortable position although BJP’s Nihar Ray has slightly improved his position and Congress nominee Biren Senapati is the third force in a two-pronged contest.
Talsara is a traditional Congress stronghold but its three-time sitting MLA Prafulla Majhi is facing serious threat from BJP’s Bhawani Bhoi. Following CPM-Congress alliance, CPM MLA Laxman Munda seems to be in advantage in Bonai Assembly seat in a triangular fight with BJD and BJP.