Pratap Keshari Deb of BJD has won the politically-sensitive Aul constituency in the just concluded assembly elections. He registered a thumping victory over his nearest rival Congress’ Devendra Sharma with a margin of 55601 votes.
Deb, who belonged to Aul’s royal family, secured a total of 99,426 votes of which 184 are postal votes and 99242 are EVM votes. His vote share in the constituency was 57.66% compared to 25.42% by his Congress rival. His nearest rival Sharma got 43825 votes including 87 postal votes and 43738 EVM votes. A total of 172429 votes were polled in the Aul constituency and 10 candidates were in the fray.
This is Deb’s fourth win for this Vidhansabha seat. He was the MLA of Aul since 2000 till 2014. He had won this seat for the 12, 13 and 14th Assembly elections and lost to Congress’ Devendra Sharma in 2014 for the 15 Assembly election.
He also served as a minister in the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government and handled key portfolios including food and civil supplies, employment and technical education and information and technology. He also served as the Chairman of Odisha Housing Board.
In 2017 Deb was selected to represent Odisha in the Rajya Sabha and he served as an MP till end of 2018. He was one of the blue-eyed politicians of BJD supremo and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. Deb has also served BJD as the party spokesperson.
Aul constituency in the coastal district of Kendrapara has always been a politically sensitive seat and has seen fierce competition among, primarily, two parties – Congress and BJD.
Since the formation of BJD in 1999, the party built on the ideologies of Biju Patnaik, has won the Aul seat every time but one. Pratap Deb had won the seat three times in a row and only his father Sarat Kumar Deb had won this seat more than him. Sarat Deb had won the seat for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Assembly elections in a row – a record.
Now, his son Pratap Deb, equalled his record with his fourth win. His party BJD won the 2019 Assembly elections with a thumping victory winning 112 seats out of total 147. The party is all set to form the new government on 29 May with party supremo Naveen Patnaik as the CM for the fifth term, one of the longest in India’s history.