Report by Malaya Mohapatra; Keonjhar: The ex PCC president and AICC leader Jayadev Jena has always contested from Anandpur with a congress ticket since 1980. He had retained the MLA seat for three consecutive times and rewarded with a ministry during the congress regime. But after the alliance of BJD BJP in 2000, this seat went to the hands of BJP and later to BJD after the alliance broke in 2009. It was Mayadhar jena who defeated Jayadev with a bjp ticket in 2000 and Bhagirathi sethy defeated Jayadev as candidate from BJD in 2009.
In 2014 Mayadhar joined BJD to contest as the party candidate and won the election with 82,520 votes. Bhagirathi joined BJP during the time and when he was declared as the party candidate from BJP he suddenly joined BJD after he learnt that Mayadhar is not getting the ticket. In this candidate reshuffling,Bhagirathi is the BJD candidate while Alok Sethy from BJP is contesting for the second time. Jayadev as usual is the Congress candidate and has remained in second position in last two election. Since Jayadev Jena is contesting the polls for the 8th time, he knows his voters much more than other candidates. Apart from his pocket votes, the fraction in BJD and BJP may help him to emerge with a divided rule strategy. He has also won this seat four times and the anti incumbency vote of ruling BJD is expected to go in favour of Jayadev, he asserts.
BJP candidate Alok Sethy hopes to win with the positive response of people in favour of Modi and Bhagirathi Sethy, BJD candidate hopes that their party will surely retain this seat for the third time due to growing popularity of party supremo Naveen. With both senior Congress leaders Niranjan Pattnaik, Jayadev Jena hailing from Keonjhar District, Anandpur seat is the only hope for the congress. Hatadih and Anandpur block comprises the Anandpur assembly segment where voters are politically sensitive. So contesting and winning this seat is not an easy task for BJP, BJD and congress.