Saga of dejection, joy in Odisha's Sundargarh

BJD’s Sarada Prasad Nayak said after the BJD’s debacle in the state, he refrained from celebrating.
BJD’s Sarada Prasad Nayak and BJP's Jual Oram
BJD’s Sarada Prasad Nayak and BJP's Jual Oram

ROURKELA: The election results of the Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat and seven Assembly constituencies under it was a bag full of surprises for BJP and BJD.

The parties faced defeat and tasted success. While Jual Oram’s win did not come as a surprise, BJD’s Sarada Prasad Nayak had his revenge by defeating BJP’s veteran Dilip Ray from the Rourkela Assembly seat. Ray had trounced Nayak in 2014.

However, Nayak said after the BJD’s debacle in the state, he refrained from celebrating. He said his party would analyse its below par performance in Sundargarh district. Similarly, though Oram managed to retain Sundargarh Lok Sabha seat, Ray’s defeat came as a shock for BJP cadres.

Oram retained the Lok Sabha seat with a handsome margin of around 1.38 lakh votes. He defeated BJD’s politician Dilip Tirkey. Once again BJD’s hope for its first-ever victory from the Lok Sabha seat was dashed. Jual has numerous reasons to celebrate his sixth victory in seven attempts, especially after he announced that 2024 would be his last electoral contest. Another, major reason was BJP also got the historic opportunity to form its first government in Odisha.

Jual’s victory was his second hat-trick (wins in 2014, 2019 and 2024) after his first consecutive wins in 1998, 1999 and 2004. However, besides Ray, BJP’s sitting MLAs from Sundargarh and Birmitrapur, Kusum Tete and Shankar Oram lost. The party’s candidates from Rajgangpur Narsingh Minz and Bonai Sebati Naik were placed third. The party won only from RN Pali and Talsara Assembly seats. In 2019, the party had won three out of seven Assembly constituencies. Also, Jual was behind Congress in Rajgangpur and Dilip Tirkey in Bonai.

Jual publicly admitted he is happy at the overall performance of BJP in Odisha along with his own victory and those in Talsara and RN Pali ACs. But he said he was equally dejected at the loss of Dilip, Kusum and Shankar.

On the other hand, the BJD won three of seven Assembly seat including the Birmitrapur and Talsara. The party won from the seats for the first time and came second in rest four Assembly constituencies.

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