Relief for Congress, BJP in Sambalpur

Although the BJD swept the recently concluded Zilla Parishad (ZP) polls, it is a mixed bag in the election to block chairman posts held on Sunday. Candidates of the three major parties shared honours across western Odisha bringing some relief for Congress and BJP.

In Sambalpur district, of the nine blocks,  chairman candidates were elected unopposed in five while BJD-supported candidates won in three and Congress candidate won in one block. Congress, BJP and BJD-backed candidates won in three blocks each.

In Naktideul and Dhankauda blocks, Congress candidates Annapurna Pradhan and Haripriya Suna were declared elected uncontested while in Kuchinda, Maneswar and Bamra Blocks, BJP candidates Kishore Naik, Pabitra Mahanand and Pushpanjali Dharua were elected unopposed respectively. In Jamankira block, it was a close fight between BJD-backed candidate Jemadei Mjahi, wife of former BJD Kuchinda MLA Brundaban Majhi, and Tulsa Gond of Congress. While Jemadei bagged 11 votes, Tulsa secured 10. In Rengali block Congress candidate Jyotirmayi Biswal garnered nine votes against five bagged by BJD rebel Padmini Behera.

However, in Rairakhol block, it was a fight between the BJD-supported candidate Pradip Pradhan and BJD rebel Pradip Agrawal. While Pradhan got nine votes, rebel Agrawal secured five votes.

Nuapada: The BJD-backed candidates won in three out of the five block chairman posts in the district while the Congress opened its account in Khariar and Sinapali blocks. The BJD-backed candidates were elected from Nuapada, Komna and Boden blocks.

Except for Bhagatram Majhi, the BJD-backed candidate who won from Nuapada block and was the sitting Sarpanch of Kendubahara gram panchayat, all other candidates are novices and will hold office for the first time.

Jharsuguda: After the huge setback in the ZP polls, the BJD which was in control of Laikera, Kirmira and Lakhanpur blocks surrendered to the Congress in the election to block chairman posts.

Congress had a sway over the blocks with two of its candidates, Binodini Patel and Nalini Kisan being declared elected unopposed from Kolabira and Kirmira respectively. In Laikera block, three members abstained from voting giving Congress’ Jogendra Naik? a clear majority with six votes against two bagged by BJD’s Tirtha Kisan. Congress nominees also trounced their opponents in Jharsuguda and Lakhanpur blocks.

Deogarh: After a clean sweep in the recently held ZP election, the BJD continued its feat in the election to the posts of block chairman.

Its candidates, Damayanti Sahu and Bilasini Naik were elected unopposed in Riamal and Tileibani blocks respectively. This apart, BJD-supported candidate Debendra Behera defeated BJP’s Arun Sahu by seven votes in Dharakote block.

Meanwhile, 10 panchayat samiti members of Tileibani block joined the BJD.

Sonepur: The BJD continued its winning streak here by clinching six block chairman posts. While the party nominees were elected unopposed from Binka, Dungripali and Tarbha blocks, they managed an easy win in Birmaharajpurm and Ulunda blocks. It was a close fight in Sonepur block with BJD’s Dinesh Agrawal winning by one vote.

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