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BJD men upbeat in BJP bastion

Cuttack, April 4: The silver city is a new turf for the BJD in the Assembly polls, but its two candidates are quite confident of making a mark in the BJP bastion.

Barabati Cuttack and Choudwar Cuttack are the two new constituencies carved out of earlier Cuttack City seat where BJD chief Naveen Patnaik chose Debashis Samantaray and Pravat Biswal to test political waters after delimitation forced them to leave Tirtol and Sadar Cuttack, respectively.

How tough is it going to be for the two BJD nominees here? Biswal said: “I am sure there will be no difficulty in winning the Choudwar Cuttack seat.”

The BJD is contesting the Assembly seats in Cuttack for the first time since it was formed after the death of Biju Patnaik in 1997. In the past two elections in 2004 and 2000, the party had left Cuttack City to the BJP.

“I campaigned for the party in the new constituency in the recent Cuttack Municipal Corporation elections, so I am no stranger here,” said Biswal, who was elected to the Assembly from Sadar Cuttack in 2004 as an Independent candidate. Later he joined the BJD.

A section of the BJD, on the other hand, is apprehensive about the prospects of Samantaray in Barabati Cuttack. “Inadequacy of party organisation and personal contact in the constituency could create problems for him,” said a BJD leader.

Samantaray had lost the Tirtol seat in 2004 after wresting it from the Congress in 2000. After delimitation, he was forced to leave Tirtol.

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