Malavika Devi’s Kalahandi LS victory adds to BJP heft

A pro-Modi wave and Malavika’s strong local connection and communication skills in the Kalahandia dialect brought her closer to the voters.
Malavika Devi
Malavika DeviPhoto | Express

BHAWANIPATNA: A thumping victory for Malavika Devi has stamped the authority of Bharatiya Janata Party in the Kalahandi parliamentary constituency.

A pro-Modi wave and Malavika’s strong local connection and communication skills in the Kalahandia dialect brought her closer to the voters. Devi, from a politically experienced royal family, outperformed her rivals, BJD’s Lambodar Nial and Congress’ Droupadi Majhi, who could not match her appeal despite playing caste cards.

Malavika secured 544,303 votes, winning by a margin of 133,813 votes over her nearest BJD rival. Interestingly, out of 13,443 postal votes, BJP received 5,768, BJD 2,223, and Congress 3,139, indicating strong support for saffron party even among government officials.

Additionally, 19,620 voters chose NOTA, with eight out of 11 candidates receiving fewer votes than NOTA.

In the Dharamgarh Assembly segment, Sudhir Patjoshi of BJP emerged as the sole BJP candidate to win in Kalahandi district, defeating seasoned BJD politician Puspendra Singhdeo by 18,685 votes. Patjoshi, an advocate by profession and a first-time candidate, is now hoping for a cabinet position.

In Junagarh Assembly segment, the contest was intense between BJD and BJP, one leading the other in each round. BJD’s Dibya Sankar Mishra won by a narrow margin of 1,379 votes, receiving 76,483 votes against BJP’s Manoj Meher who received 75,104 votes. Mishra’s campaign was overshadowed by the Mamita Meher death controversy.

In Lanjigarh ST Assembly segment, BJD’s Pradip Kumar Disari retained his seat, defeating veteran Congress candidate Balabhadra Majhi by 7,501 votes. Disari received 60,254 votes, maintaining a comfortable lead over Majhi, who garnered 52,753 votes.

Similarly in Narla Assembly seat, BJD newcomer Manorama Mohanty defeated veteran Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das by 5,295 votes. Mohanty received 67,532 votes, securing her position as chairman of Narla block. In Bhawanipatna SC constituency, Congress candidate Sagar Das won against veteran but ailing BJP candidate Pradip Kumar Naik by 13,741 votes. Das secured 67,085 votes, leaving BJD in third place with 50,897 votes.

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