Two well-known Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons, Baijayant “Jay” Panda and Sambit Patra, were defeated in the Lok Sabha elections from Kendrapara and Puri in Odisha on Thursday.
Panda, who moved to the saffron party after after a fallout with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last year, contested against actor and Rajya Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty of the Biju Janata Dal. Panda lost to Mohanty by 1.52 lakh votes.
The BJP, however, won eight Lok Sabha seats in Odisha while the Biju Janata Dal secured 11 Lok Sabha seats. The ruling party is leading in one constituency. The party was also elected for a fifth consecutive term to power after winning 108 Assembly seats.
Panda secured 38.53% of the vote share, while Mohanty’s vote share was 50.87%. Panda was twice elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara as a Biju Janata Dal candidate. The seat is significant for the ruling party as Biju Patnaik, the father of Naveen Patnaik and the man after whom the party is named, was thrice elected from there.
In Puri, Sambit Patra lost a close fight, by a margin of 11,714 votes, against Biju Janata Dal’s Pinaki Misra. Mishra is the incumbent MP from the seat and first elected on the ruling party’s ticket in 2009. In 1996, he had won the seat on a Congress ticket.