Political observers say the ruling party in the state had entered into seat adjustments with the Left parties for 2009 polls, which proved beneficial for it in many areas, including Berhampur.

Significantly, the constituency, spread over seven assembly segments in Ganjam and Gajapati districts, has also returned Congress candidates to the Lower House as many as 12 out of 15 times.

Sidhant won the last election defeating Congress' candidate Chandra Sekhar Sahu.

However, presence of Left candidates this time in some segments, including the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat, may cause division of votes of ruling BJD. And any division of votes of BJD will be a gain for Congress and BJP in the April 10 poll, analysts feel.

Congress has renominated former Union minister Sahu while BJP has fielded Rama Chandra Panda. Besides fielding Ali Kishor Patnaik in Berhampur parliamentary constituency, CPI-M has also put up its candidates for four assembly segments of Berhampur, Digapahandi, Mohana and Paralakhemundi, falling under Berhampur Lok Sabha seat.

CPI also fielded candidates in Aska, Chhatrapur, Sanakhemundi and Khallokote assembly segments in Ganjam district of which Chhatrapur comes under Berhampur LS seat.

"Congress is leaving no stone unturned this time to restore its lost glory," says Bhagaban Gantayat, Ganjam District Congress Committee President.


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