Congress' position precarious in Sundargarh ZP election

Political observers feel that in all six ZP seats of Rajgangpur, there will be a triangular fight involving BJD, BJP and Congress.

Published: 04th February 2022 08:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2022 08:44 AM   |  A+A-

Vote; elections

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By Express News Service

ROURKELA:  Plagued by internal squabbling and a dormant organisational unit, the Congress seems to be in a precarious condition in the run up to Sundargarh Zilla Parishad (ZP) election with the contest largely confined between BJD and BJP in majority of the 35 seats. 

While the Sundargarh district Congress committee expects to win at least 10 seats and emerge as the kingmaker in forming the ZP council, party insiders doubt the seat tally in the upcoming panchayat polls may drop below five which Congress had won in 2017.  

The party’s Sundargarh president BM Tripathy claimed that Congress would win Subdega-A, Balishankara-B, Bisra-A, Nuagaon-B, Koida-B, Gurundia-A ZP seats in Talsara, Birmitrapur and Bonai Assembly constituencies. He further said the party would win at least four of the six ZP seats in Rajgangpur constituency by banking on the strength of Congress MLA CS Rajen Ekka.

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Political observers feel that in all six ZP seats of Rajgangpur, there will be a triangular fight involving BJD, BJP and Congress. Even if Congress uses all its might, wining two-three seats seems realistic for the party in the current scenario.  In six other seats in Talsara, Birmitrapur and Bonai, Congress candidates are likely to put up a tough fight, but their winning chance is 50-50. 

In fact, except Rajgangpur, Congress candidates in other areas have been left to fend for themselves with no district-level leaders campaigning for them. At 82, former Congress Chief Minister and ex-MP Hemanand Biswal, a Bhuiyan leader and big morale booster for cadres, is politically dormant and has stopped visiting Sundargarh since long. Besides, election funding remains a problem for majority of Congress candidates.  

The Congress had formed Sundargarh ZP council with JMM in 1997 and twice in 2002 and 2007 on its own. With five seats in 2017, the Congress bagged the ZP vice-president post in lieu of extending support to the BJD with 14 seats to form the council.  


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