Can BJD break into BJP bastion, Kuchinda?

 Kuchinda is one of the few Assembly seats in the State where the BJD is yet to open its mark.

Published: 13th March 2019 06:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2019 04:21 PM   |  A+A-

Naveen Patnaik, Odisha CM

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. (File)

By Express News Service

SAMBALPUR: Kuchinda is one of the few Assembly seats in the State where the BJD is yet to open its mark. An earlier Congress stronghold, the constituency reserved for ST has transformed into a safe seat for the BJP, returning the party candidate in three of the four elections since 2000.

As the General Elections approach, the political scene in the constituency appears to hold its own as the BJD and Congress lag behind in preparedness to pose a challenge to the BJP. For breaking into the BJP bastion, selection of a suitable candidate is going to be the key factor but the parties are yet to finalise their candidates who can put up a strong fight against sitting MLA Rabinarayan Naik.

The Assembly segment which covers Kuchinda NAC and three blocks of Kuchinda, Bamra and Jamankira was given to the BJP during its alliance with BJD. A tribal leader and three-time MLA from the constituency, Rabinarayan was elected in 2000 and 2004 while in 2009 he lost to Rajendra Chhatria of Congress by a margin of 12,712 votes. However, he came back strongly in 2014 defeating BJD candidate Bhubaneswar Kisan by a huge margin of 22,064 votes.

Though BJD had fielded its candidates in 2009 and 2014, they failed. While Bhubaneswar was placed second in 2014 election, Brundaban Majhi came third in 2009. 

From BJD, apart from Bhubaneswar and Brundaban, former chairperson of Kuchinda block Kishore Naik, who resigned from BJP to join BJD, is a major contender for the ticket.
Similarly, former MLA Rajendra Chhatria and former president of Sambalpur Zilla Parishad Sobharam Pradhan are in the race for Congress ticket.

Sources in BJP said, the candidature of Rabinarayan is almost certain. He is known for his simplicity and has maintained connect with the people at the grassroots. His good image and continuing popularity is a major plus for the saffron party.

Kuchinda Assembly segment 
Kuchinda NAC and Kuchinda, Bamra and Jamankira come under the segment
Rabinarayan Naik of BJP has won in three of the four elections since 2000
He was defeated once in 2009 by Cong candidate Rajendra Chhatria
Connect with people at the grassroots and continuing popularity, a major plus for BJP


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