Berhampur, April 9 (LocalWire): The battle for the Lok Sabha seat in Berhampur has turned quite interesting, as a fierce contest awaits a novice and a veteran politician in the constituency going to polls on 11 April.
Though a triangular contest is in the offing in this Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border constituency, what make the fight interesting is the contest between a new entrant V Chandra Sekhar Naidu of the Congress and experienced politician Chandra Sekhar Sahu from the BJD who earlier won the Parliamentary seat with a Congress ticket in 2004 and went on to become a union minister.
Naidu, who owns power plants in different states and abroad, is close to senior AICC leaders but had never stepped into active politics before.
Sahu had unsuccessfully contested the seat in subsequent elections and joined the BJD with several followers last year. This year, after dropping its two time MP, Sidhant Mohapatra, a cine actor-turned politician, the ruling party nominated Sahu.
Sahu is pumped up since is well-known in the constituency, as he had toured the nook and corner of the segment while contesting the elections for the last three elections in a row. ‘I am well-known to the constituency and also aware of the problems of the area,’ he said.
Despite the Centre’s opposition, the Naveen Patnaik government has done several infrastructure developments in the region, he said. ‘I am confident of sailing through the elections as I am the son of the soil and people are happy with the developmental work by the state government,’ he emphasised.
Naidu, on the other hand is a resident of New Delhi but claims to belong to the area. ‘My forefathers lived near Chhatrapur,’ said Naidu.
Naidu said he has a vision to turn the constituency into a model one with all-round development. Besides the party’s national and state agenda, we will also issue an area-specific agenda for the constituency, he said.
Bhrugu Baxipatra, the third force of the triangle and son of former minister in Biju Patnaik government, Harish Chandra Baxipatra, is the BJP candidate and keeping an eye on both his opponents.
He is the general secretary of the BJP’s state unit and had unsuccessfully contested the Jeypore Assembly seat in 2014.
He is hoping to win this election banking on Modi’s developmental work in the country and also bank on the anti-incumbency factor. ‘I will raise all issues of Berhampur in the Parliament and try to bring an all-round development following the footsteps of the Prime Minister,’ he said.
The Parliamentary constituency, spreading over Ganjam and Gajapati districts have seven Assembly segments – Berhampur, Chhatrapur, Chikiti, Digapahandi and Gopalpur (Ganjam district) Mohana and Paralakhemundi (Gajapati district).
Except Paralakhemundi, which the Congress won, all others were swept by the BJD candidates in the last general election held in 2014.