National State

Mood of Odisha : Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat.

Satyabrata Dwibedy,Editor.  

After a fresh delimitation, Sambalpur emerged as a different parliamentary segment where virtually the influence of Sambalpuri speaking people marginalized.

In this new arrangement, materialized after 2009 Elections both the MPs elected from Sambalpur are from the Chasa Community.This Chasa community is the most influential community of this parliamentary segment and they are the dominating force in Deogarh,Chhendipada,Athamallick and Rairakhol Assembly Segments.. Sambalpur parliamentary segment is economically an agrarian dominated area. The farm loan waiver promise which has paid great dividend for Congress in the Hindi Heart Land may hopefully be implemented in Odisah by Congress in the ensuing election ,in case it works, Sambalpur would be the best fertile land for Congress to reap.

Data analysis of last two Elections

    Year                    2009 (INC)                                     2014(BJD)


Deogarh                   43830                                  15323    (-28507)

Kuchinda                 55162                                  34621    (-20541)

SBP                            26415                                  20280    (-6135)

Rairakhol                34596                                  41874    (+7278)

Chhendipada         50103                                  51952    (+1849)

Athamallick            46232                                  44629    (-1603)

Rengali                     48501                                  33078   (-15423)



Deogarh                   30980                                  89281  (+58301)

Kuchinda                 36363                                  66992  (+30629)

SBP                            27857                                  50674  (+22817)

Rairakhol                20675                                  35432  (+14757)

Chhendipada         6265                                     16166  (+9901)

Athamallick            10861                                  22405  (+11544)

Rengali                     17839                                  44892  (+27053)



Deogarh                   57636                                  51852  (-5784)

Kuchinda                 25627                                  46495  (+20868)

SBP                            19187                                  35470  (+16283)

Rairakhol                45244                                  50039 (+4795)

Chendipada            54208                                  62881  (+8673)

Atamallick               62354                                  65780  (+3426)

Rengali                     26252                                  45664  (+19412)


 Computation of Total Vote Pulled

2009                                                 2014

INC                             304890                                            242131 (-62759)

BJP                             150840                                            328042 (+177202)

BJD                            290016                                            358618 (+68599)

The growth of BJP in 2014 was an artificial growth mesmerizing by the hyperbolic promises of MODI, matching to the promises no performances are seen in the ground. Even the BJP candidate Suresh Pujhari never seen in the area, post election.Dharmendra Pradhan has started his parliamentary carrier from this constituency but never had given normal focus to this area,it is high time to encase this betrayal.


10 Years Average

INC     273510

BJP     239441

BJD    324317


The Indication of Electoral Mathematics of Sambalpur

Congress needs to regain its 2009 statuesque. Fortunately there will be no Modi Magic in 2019.It means the 120% growth of BJPs vote share in 2014 would face sharp decline in 2019,which is apprehended from the National scenario. This transfer of votes from BJP may go either way to BJD or Congress,however the BJD is facing strong anti-incumbency in the State as well, so hard work may help congress to mobilize the anti-incumbency factor . The joining of Naba Das in BJD would brighten the prospect of BJD in Sambalpur, Regali and Redhakhol area,however the reverse theory is the joining of Naba Das may ignite strong back pulling in the party. This may benefit BJP and Congress.Another equation which may push BJD to a safer zone in Sambalpur is the joining of Nalini pradhan in BJD.The combination of Naba-Nalini will accelerate the wining prospect of BJD in Sambalpur.The fundamental reason is when Naba is influential in SBP-Redhakhol-Rengali region Nalini Pradhan is influential in Chendipada-Athamallick-Redhakhol(Part)-Deogarh.So it may prove a winning combination.

In 2014 Deogarh and Kuchinda alone contributed 90000 lead to BJP followed by Rengali with 27000.Congress needs to detonate the artificial vote escalation of BJP in Deogarh , Kuchinda and Rengali. Hitting hard at BJP and consolidating the organization at the ground zero at the earliest is the only way out.

It is seen in our survey that the position of Congress is quite supportive in Redhakhol, Chhendipada and Athamallick.It is more important to maintain the trust of the people in these three segments with a target to mobilize the BJP votes towards Congress.

Data shows the vote of BJD are almost steady and the 68000 extra votes it pulled in 2014 against 2009 is proportionately equating the increasing number of voters in five years. However this time there is a chance of anti-incumbency against BJD MP Nagendra Pradhan, as well as BJP at the Center.So Congress is going to be the natural beneficiary.

Nevertheless the term “ Natural Beneficiary” has lost its relevance ever since Amit Shah emerged as a Political Strategist in India. Politics is no more a part time job, now a days it has been a 24X7 activity and each contender need to set strong narrative to take the side of lose and win. BJD has a classic narrative which is going to produce result in 2019,but the cards of Congress are yet to appear.

So, naturally the people of Sambalpur are waiting for an alternative narrative from Congress. By-default Congress has immense scope to explore this time equally against BJD in the State as well as BJP in the Center. In this complex timing the votes of Kuchinda,Deogarh,Chhendipada and Athamallick are crucial for Congress.

Situation at the Ground Zero

My team made a low density survey across Sambalpur Parliamentary seat few days back.Decoding the survey my observations are mentioned below.

 People are slightly reluctant to Naveen and vocally unhappy with Modi.However by and large they are calm so far the question of voting choice for 2019 is concerned. No concrete choice is emerging from the crowd as it was for Modi and Naveen in 2014.


This stronghold of BJD will probably continue its legacy this time by going the BJD way. However the vote margin of BJD is all set to diminish keeping BJD at a safe place. People are unhappy with the incumbent BJD MLA.It is apprehended that few BJD  votes may shift to Congress or BJP. The activities of BJP has improved substantially in the constituency . In case a bigger transfer of vote emerge for BJP,then it is not BJP but the Congress will be the ultimate beneficiary. However chances are remote for a BJD defeat.It is equally important for Congress to keep intact its traditional vote Bank.We find villages clearly divided in Congress and BJD line, BJP is a recent player which will play the spoiler role in Athamalick in2019.

In 2000 the vote share of BJD was 59% against 34% of Congress.This was reduced to 47% of BJD and the winning margin of BJD was only 880 votes in 2004.In 2009 BJD maintains consistency in its vote Bank,rather it improves its vote share to 49% and Congress reduced to 33%.This was the election when BJP fought election pan Odisha after their breakup with BJD. Interestingly instead of consuming the vote share of BJD,BJP in this election occupied the vote share of Congress,as a result the winning margin of BJD and Congress which was 0.5% in 2004 was escalated to 15.11% in 2009.BJP emerged as the third force in this constituency at the cost of Congress.During Modi wave in 2014 the BJP candidate remains in number three by getting half of Congress Vote and one third of  BJD votes. Notwithstanding the tremendous result of BJP in Panchyat elections,with all probabilities this time Congress will improve its tally in Athmallick by snatching votes both from BJD and BJP.This improve of vote share of Congress may not help the MLA candidate but surely will help the Congress MP candidate.        


BJD and Congress are one to one here.The inroad of BJP has just began.It is difficult to predict whose vote share BJP is going to consume. So far we apprehend, most likely BJP may consume more BJD votes then of Congress. The BJD MLA is absolutely unpopular here. However  still BJD is the winning brand and like Athamallck here also BJP will play the role of spoiler.

As it is a newly formed constituency analysis of voting trend of last twenty years is not possible.

However in the last 10 years the vote share of BJD and Congress is revolving around 45% and 38% respectively. It is only in the last Panchyat Elections BJP occupied the space of Congress,but the situation on the ground at the moment is not in the favor of BJP.In case Chhendipada heads for a triangular contest,Congress will be the worst sufferer for the prospects of both its MLA and MP candidate.  


BJP is a reckoning force in Deogarh,the organization of BJP is outstanding here.On the otherhand the organization of BJD is very poor and Congress has absolutely no organization in Deogarh. However the demographic divide gives unprecedented result each time .The political scenario of last 20 years of Deogarh is very peculiar.

INC    1         2004-09

BJP    2         2000-04 and 2014-19

BJD    1         2009-14

 Vote percentage of last 20 years      

BJP                2000             39.27%       Average of 20 Years is 38.75%

                        2004             39.9%

                        2009             27.53%

                        2014             48.26%

The 48.26% was not the outcome of Modi wave,it was because of a mass hatred against the incumbent BJD MLA.The first time voters and traditional congress voters voted for BJP to ensure a sure defeat of the BJD.

BJD                2009             39.8%          Average of 10 years is 35%

                        2014             30.59%

Deogarh seat was with the BJP in the collation Government up to 2009.

INC                2000             27.88%       Average of 20 years is 30%

                        2004             51.06%

                        2009             32.1%

                        2014             9.08%

Congress is number three in Deogarh segment, the organizational makeover may pump some more votes to its basket but difficult to change its position.


Total Vote pulled in last 20 years

BJP                2000             36514          Total: 219951      Average: 54987

                        2004             48588

                        2009             38213

                        2014             89636

BJD                2009             54266          Total : 105163     Average : 52581

                        2014             50897

INC                2000             25922          Total : 146779 Average : 36696

                        2004             62487

                        2009             43561

                        2014             14809

The royal family of Deogarh used to play a predominant role in the politics of Deogarh.Nitish Gangdev has elected twice as MLA of Deogarh representing two Political Party(Congress and BJP).He has lost twice as well.His scores are more batter then others.

It is the Congress Party which need to work hard at Deogarh to atleast save its MP candidate.A vote target of around 40 to 45 thousand would help the MP candidate to manage the minimal loss from other sement,in case Congress faces huge loss in Deogarh like 2014,it would be quite difficult, rather impossible to manage the loss from other segment.


This tribal constituency is most crucial for Congress to set its tone for 2019.Though the history of last twenty years of Kuchinda is a straight BJP rule with three times Victory (2000-2004-2014)still it is a vulnerable seat for Congress.It is the bastion of Congress veteran Hemanand Biswal. There is a tremendous scope every time to revive for Congress.

Both Congress and BJP has a vote share of around 45% in Kuchinda since last twenty years and BJD has been the third player here. It is only in 2014 when Congress lost its 2nd position and BJD occupied its space. However this time Congress has a chance to revive. The 68000 votes BJP pulled last time in 2014 Elections may go downward and probably benefit Congress. The moral of Congress workers and voters are seem to be high as there is a rumor rounding that Hemanand Biswal is returning to Kuchinda politics.As per the data of our survey this time it is BJP to face electoral loss in Kuchinda.


Rengali is a new Constituency constituted after 2009.In 2009 Congress occupied this seat by getting only 32% vote share,an independent candidate was distance second with 18% vote. However progressing upto 2014 situation has had been changed. Rengali ushered into triangular contest.In a close contest BJD won with a 2200 lead from BJP, keeping Congress in third place. This time situation will prevail like so with a slight decrease of BJP votes and increase of Congress votes. Almost this time also Rengali will face a triangular contest with hopes of both the three parties almost equal.

Sambalpur :-

This is crucial seat for three leading parties as Sambalpur has accommodated every party in different times. Traditionally  it is a BJP seat in the last twenty years except 2014,when BDJ won this seat .However Congress has been the runner up in Sambalpur during these times baring 2014,when it cornered in third position.This time also Congress will continue with its third position. There will be a straight fight between BJP and BJD this time keeping Congress the spoiler role. However the winablity of Congress MP candidate is also crucial so far Sambalpur votes are concerned. Congress needs to focus on the damage control to be in the race for Sambalpur MP Seat.

In 2009 the low turn out of Rohit Pujhari from Sambalpur,which was unexpected, helped Amar Pradhan of Congress to win the Sambalpur MP seat with a narrow margin victory. This time again Congress needs to work on damage control in Sambalpur with a target to improve its vote tally upto 45000 to rationalize the opposition vote share. 

The Congress vote share from 2000 to 2009 was swinging between 38% to 40%  and of BJP was 43% to 54% and it is only in 2014 the number three player BJD over took the first two conterders and won Sambalpur  mostly by occupying the space of Congress.In 2014 the vote share of BJP was 34% BJD was 43% and Congress was merely 17%.So the growth of BJD is mainly contributed by Congress and in case Congress grows it will directly hit BJD in Sambalpur.


Redhakhol is a place of triangular contest  since 2000 elections.The rebel candidate of BJP Nauri Nayak was getting more then 22% votes upto 2004 when the winner BJD candidate was getting 31% votes. So BJD,BJP and Congress has a stable and Constant vote bank in Rairakhol.Even in the debacle days of Congress in 2014 the Congress Candidate scored 31% vote which was the best result of Sambalpur region and placed in number 2 against 40% vote of BJD and 22% vote of BJP.

According to the electoral mathematics this is a safe seat for BJD and this time it may again go to the Basket of BJD , with all probability almost the 2014 scenario will prevail in 2019,however the mass anger against Rohit Pujhari is slowly decimating the grounds of BJD .In case of a huge consolidation of anti-incumbency votes against Rohit Pujhari like the case of Deogarh in 2014,this will largely support Congress over BJP.

Some important observations from Ground:-  

  • BJD is still the front runner.
  • No Modi wave or BJP wave this time like 2014.
  • Congress is stable,it may grow but will not fall from its 2014 position.
  • Naba Das and Nalini Pradhan are the crucial factors for BJD.
  • Jaynarayan Mishra and Nitish Gangdeb are the crucial factors for BJP.
  • Hemanand Biswal and Amar Pradhan are the crucial factor for Congress.











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