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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Congress fields young turk Yasir Nawaz in Bhubaneswar seat in bid to avoid 2014 debacle

The last time the grand old party won the seat was in 1996 when its candidate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, son-in-law of former chief minister late J.B. Patnaik, had defeated CPM’s Sivaji Patnaik

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 15.04.24, 09:24 AM
Yasir Nawaz

Yasir Nawaz Sourced by the Telegraph

The Congress, which had forfeited its deposit from the prestigious Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat in 2014, this time hitched its bandwagon to the young turk Yasir Nawaz, hoping for a change in its fortunes.

The party had not contested the seat in 2019, conceding it to its ally CPM. The candidature of Yasir, a youth leader, was announced by the AICC late on Saturday night.

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The last time the grand old party won the seat was in 1996 when its candidate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, son-in-law of former chief minister late J.B. Patnaik, had defeated CPM’s Sivaji Patnaik.

Yasir, 30, the president of the students’ wing of the Congress, has been pitted against the BJP’s sitting MP bureaucrat-turned-politician Aparajita Sarangi and the BJD’s greenhorn pilot-turned-politician Manmath Routray who happens to be the son of veteran sitting Congress MLA from Jatani, a part of Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat, Suresh Kumar Routray.

Yasir, a B.tech, who has established himself as a crusader against corruption by leading a series of protests during the last five years, is confident of bringing back luck to the Congress. “For the last two years, I have been working with a clear strategy to consolidate my position in this Lok Sabha constituency,” he told The Telegraph.

The bachelor, who hails from a lower middle class from the Jadupur area in Bhubaneswar city, said “The party is passing through a tough time. I cannot match the money and muscle power of the BJD and BJP. Even I would ask people to donate at least Rs One to me to fight against the black money of both the parties. After 1996, my party will win from the constituency for the first time this time,” he said.

After the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was formed in 1997, its candidate Prasanna Kumar Patsani had been winning the election till 2019 when the party preferred to replace him with former Mumbai police commissioner, Arup Patnaik. However, the BJD’s strategy did not succeed and its candidate saw the defeat at the hand of Sarangi.

In 2019, the Congress did not contest the election general election and gave the seat to its alliance CPM. Its candidate Janardan Pati had also faced defeat. The journey of Congress was quite dismal in this prestigious Lok Sabha seat after 1996.

In 2019, the Congress-supported CPM’s Janardan Pati lost his deposit by polling just 23,026 votes. The BJD also lost the election and the BJP for the first time won the seat.

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