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Koraput ceases to be Congress bastion

Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: “Did family politics lead to his defeat” would be a question which would be pondered over by former chief minister of the State and former Union minister Giridhar Gamang.

His dreams to create history for the Congress, himself and his parliamentary constituency, Koraput were shattered. Floating on the Naveen Patnaik wave, the BJD candidate Jayaram Pangi could manage the first win of any non-Congress candidate in Koraput parliamentary constituency after independence.

Mr. Gamang failed to get elected from the Koraput Lok Sabha seat for a record 10th time. Till now no non-Congress party had ever won from this constituency. But the voters did not desire to fulfil the desires of Mr. Gamang. Voters also hit hard against the family politics being promoted by this veteran Congress leader. According to analysts blatant promotion of family politics was a key factor behind the defeat of Mr. Gamang.

For the first time in his political career, Mr. Gamang had faced stiff opposition from his own party cadres in his pet constituency. A large section of Congress activists were hurt and agitated when he secured Congress assembly tickets for his wife Hema Gamang and son Sisir Gamang. Ms. Hema contested from Laxmipur while Mr. Sisir contested from Gunupur, which are part of Koraput parliamentary seat. Mr Gamang also managed to compel the Congress high command to provide make his former Private Assistant, A. K. Nagraj Dora, the Congress candidate from Jeypore, another Assembly segment of his constituency. It led to rebellion in the Koraput unit of the Congress.

Opposing it two-time Koraput MLA and Koraput district Congress president Tara Prasad Bahinipati, resigned from the party to join the BJP. Several other Congress leaders also openly opposed Mr. Gamang and his family politics.

It seemed Mr. Gamang fought the election all alone without proper backing of Congress party organisation in Koraput.

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