Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, on Thursday, snapped its 21-year-long relationship with the Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD). IAS officer-turned-politician Aparajita Sarangi is now the MP of Bhubaneswar.
She defeated former Mumbai Commissioner of Police and BJD nominee Arup Patnaik by over 23,000 votes. Bhubaneswar has been the citadel of the ruling BJD since 1998.
The former bureaucrat won the Bhubaneswar parliamentary constituency even as the BJP has not been able to grab a single Assembly segments under this LS seat.
“I thank all the BJP karyakartas and innumerable volunteers for their selfless service during the campaign. I look forward to the new innings as a people’s representative and serve them to the best of my ability,” tweeted Sarangi after the victory.
Though BJD’s Prasanna Patsani won from the seat five times in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 but the party relied on the former top cop this time. The constituency had chosen CPM’s Shivaji Patnaik thrice in 1977, 1989 and 1991, the then Congress leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik (now in BJD) in 1996 and Patsani since 1998.
Aparajita earned accolades from people during her tenure as Khurda Collector (of which Bhubaneswar was a part). During her tenure as Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Commissioner from 2006 to 2009, she had also made an impressive mark by pioneering the concept of vending zones for street vendors and personally supervising the cleaning of the city, besides undertaking beautification drive.
After completing five-year central deputation Aparajita, a 1994-batch Odisha cadre IAS officer joined the BJP after taking voluntarily retirement scheme (VRS) sacrificing 11 years of service in November last year. She last worked as the Joint Secretary of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on Central deputation.