In a contest of well-known party faces for the holy city, BJP's national spokesperson Sambit Patra was pitched against BJD counterpart Pinaki Mishra who is the sitting MP, with Congress' Odisha unit media cell chief Satyaprakash Nayak also in the fray.
In a thrilling contest, BJD Pinaki Mishra narrowly ahead of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra with a margin of 12131 votes.
In 2014, Pinaki Mishra had won with a near 2.63-lakh margin against the same Congress candidate. Having a long history in the constituency, he is a three-time MP, including one stint as a Congress legislator. By fielding Sambit Patra, however, many had felt that the BJP had played a potential trump card in its quest for the seat, and in the larger picture, it’s a quest to make inroads into the BJD bastion.
BJP had never won from the Puri seat, neither had it ever came second in the past. In the 2019 campaigning, however, the party left no stone unturned with Amit Shah also campaigning for Patra who has even said that he believes he is PM Modi's envoy in Odisha. While national issues pertaining to security had dominated BJP's electoral plank, BJD banked on the welfare schemes put forward by the Naveen Patnaik government.
Historically, Puri has been with BJD, with the party winning at a stretch from 1998. Mishra had won in 1996 in a Congress ticket. After twice losing to BJD's Braja Kishore Tripathy, in 2009 and 2014, he himself won on a BJD ticket.
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