Bhubaneswar: The BJP put up an impressive show in the Lok Sabha polls in Odisha, winning eight of the 21 seats, up by seven seats.
State party president Basanta Kumar Panda led by example as he wrested the high-profile Kalahandi seat from the BJD with a victory margin of 24000 votes. BJD had fielded MLA Pushpendra Singh Deo, member of the Kalahandi royal family in place of sitting MP Arka Keshari Deo. But the gamble failed.
Other prominent BJP leaders who won the Parliamentary elections from the state are:
Union Minister Juel Oram: He retained the Sundargarh seat by defeating his nearest rival Sunita Biswal of BJD by a margin of 18829 votes. Oram was the only BJP face from Odisha in the 16th Lok Sabha.
Aparajita Sarangi: She had quit the IAS just before the elections to join the BJP. Sarangi had earned a place for herself in people’s mind as the commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation. Little wonder then, she was given a ticket to contest from the prestigious Bhubaneswar Parliamentary seat. She defeated former Mumbai police chief Arup Patnaik by a margin of 23,839 votes.
Suresh Pujari: He won from the Bargarh seat by defeating BJD candidate and Rajya Sabha MP, Prasanna Acharya by 63,939 votes. This was Pujari’s first major electoral victory in Bargarh, where BJD’s Pravash Kumar Singh was elected in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Sangeeta Singhdeo: It was a battle of royal scions in the Balangir Parliamentary constituency once again in the 2019 elections, as outgoing MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo (BJD) had locked horns with sister-in-law Sangeeta Singhdeo (BJP). The former had won the seat in the 2009 polls and did an encore in the 2014 elections. But people chose to vote for Sangeeta this time, as she trounced him by 19516 votes.