BJP’s Kendrapara Lok Sabha candidate Baijayant Jay Panda lost to BJD candidate and Rajya Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty, who won with a margin of 1,52,584 votes.
Panda had won the seat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls as a BJD candidate. However, ahead of the 2019 polls, he defected to the BJP following differences with the party leadership. A former BJD chief spokesperson, Panda was one of the most recognizable faces of in Odisha, besides Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
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Panda had joined the BJP in April and was appointed national vice president and spokesperson for the party. He was contesting from the Kendrapara — a BJD bastion since 1998 — as a BJP candidate for the first time. He had been previously contesting in the constituency since 2009.
Out of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies in Odisha, Biju Janata Dal comfortably secured 12 seats with BJP trailing in 8 seats. However, it was good news for the BJP as it has secured seven more seats than its previous tally in 2014 elections. The Congress hardly made its presence felt in the fray after clinching one seat.
As per the state assembly election results on Wednesday, the BJD is also set to form its government for a fifth straight term negating a ‘Modi wave’ that is sweeping the country, with its candidates leading in 112 of the state’s 146 seats.
Polling was held in 21 Lok Sabha seats and 146 Assembly segments in four different phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. In the 2014 elections, the BJP had won a single parliamentary seat of the 21 in Odisha and 10 of the 147 assembly seats.