Jay Panda faces uphill task to retain stronghold Kendrapara
Bhubaneswar, Apr 27: It will be a high-voltage clash in Kendrapara, Odisha where Bharatiya Janata Party's Baijayant 'Jay' Panda is taking on Ollywood superstar Anubhav Mohanty.
Prominent High Court lawyer, and Congress leader Dharanidhar Nayak, who had managed to capture the second spot in 2014 polls too in the fray. However, this time it is expected to be a BJD-BJP face off.
The constituency, in the heart of the Odisha coast, known as Biju Patnaik's forte has seen some epic battles but no candidate opposing the Patnaik family had won the seat for almost the last fifty years.
For Panda, who is seeking re-election from Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat as MP for the third consecutive term, stakes are not easy. Pitted against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate is a man who represented the constituency in the last two Lok Sabha polls as a BJD man.
Panda, who was a Rajya Sabha member from 2000 to 2009 and became a Lok Sabha MP thereafter has been the party's most visible face in Delhi. From 2000 to 2014, Panda became the introverted Patnaik's link to Delhi and the party's voice in the national media.
Baijayant Panda, who was first suspended and then quit the BJD last year after being allegedly marginalised in the ruling party in Odisha, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier in March.
Polling in six parliamentary constituencies, including Kendrapara and 42 Assembly seats will be held on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.