Sundargarh: Polls will be held in Talsara Assembly constituency of Sundargarh district April 18 in the second phase of elections.
The Talsara constituency comprises Balisankara, Badagaon, Subdega blocks and 10 panchayats of Lefripada block. This constituency is reserved for a Scheduled Tribe candidate.
There will be a triangular fight between the three-time Congress MLA of this seat, Prafulla Kumar Majhi, and two new faces, Stephen Wilson Soreng of the BJD and Bhabani Bhoi of the BJP.
The late Gajadhar Majhi was elected from this seat five times as a Congress candidate in 1980, 1985, 1990, 2000 and 2004.
Prafulla Kumar Majhi is contesting here as the political successor of Gajadhar Majhi. Political analysts say that it will not be easy for him to win from here this time. There will be a stiff fight between Prafulla Majhi and the two new faces.
Zilla Parishad Member Geroti Khes who was a hopeful for a Congress ticket, is now contesting as an Independent thereby doubling the troubles of Prafulla Majhi.
Despite this he claimed, “I was closely associated with the people for decades, and I will certainly come out victorious with the traditional votes of the Congress.”
Prafulla Majhi is facing a tough fight this time as both the BJD and the BJP are trying to conquer this Congress bastion.
In 2014, Prafulla had defeated his nearest rival Binaya Kumar Toppo of the BJD by just 1,435 votes. The BJP candidate, Santosh Kumar Amat, came third with 41,272 votes.
However, after elections he left the BJP and joined the BJD. Later, he was given the post of chairman of the Special Development Council of Sundargarh and he resigned after some time. After this the political equation in Talsara has changed.
In the last panchayat elections, the BJP proved that it has strengthened its position by acquiring five seats in the Zilla Parishad of the total seven.
The BJP’s MLA candidate, Bhabani Bhoi, who had started his political career as a sarpanch and then a samiti member, is now banking on his contacts over the years, the welfare programmes of the Modi government and the organisational strength of his party.
The BJD has fielded a new face in Stephen Wilson Soreng. In this constituency, about 50 per cent of the voters are Christians, which was once a vote bank of the Congress. This time Stephen is hopeful of bagging both tribal and Christian votes.
Apart from the candidates of the three major parties, other candidates contesting from here are Sanjit Pradhan (BSP), Haladhar Naik (Hindustan Nirman Dal), Shanti Prakash Soreng (Independent), Satish Kumar Minz (BMP) and Sanjeev Kumar Khalko (AAP). There are 277 polling booths in Talsara.
Total voters – 2,06,326
Males – 1,01,820
Females – 1,04,493
Others – 13