Bhubaneswar, Nov: The recent joining of the daughter-in-law of the Kanika royal family Durga Devi in the BJP, has caused much speculation in the Aul constituency of Kendrapara district. It is rumored that Durga Devi, the queen of the Kanika royal family, would be the BJP candidate in the Aul constituency in the coming assembly election.
Currently, King of Aul and heavy-weight BJD leader Pratap Keshari Dev is representing this seat. He is also the senior cabinet minister of the state. In 2019, Pratap Keshari Deb of the Biju Janata Dal won the seat by defeating Devendra Sharma of the Indian National Congress with a margin of 55,601 votes. Dev secured 99,426 votes whereas the Congress candidate Sharma had settled for 43,825 votes. On the other hand, former MLA Dolagobinda Nayak, the BJP nominee, fetched only 26,393 votes.
In Aul Constituency, the electoral fight generally occurs between BJD and Congress. BJP never got second position yet.
But, it is rumoured that BJP may field Durga Devi as the contender against the king of Aul Pratap Keshari Dev in the coming assembly election. The Kanika royal family is the largest Royal family in the Kendrapara district which draws a lot of respect and reverence there. Durga Devi's grand father-in-law, the then King of Kanika, late Sailendra Narayan Bhanja Deo was the first MLA of Aul in 1951. He was elected 3 times to the state assembly consecutively from this constituency. However, for the last many years, the Kanika royal family could not be represented in the assembly. But if BJP fields Durga Devi, the voters would witness a royal family fight in the coming election in Aul
But in Aul, there are other aspirants in the BJP too.