Rayagada, Oct 28: Two Nilamadhab namesakes – Nilamadhab Ulaka and Nilamadhab Hikaka are in race for Congress ticket in Bissam Cuttack Assembly constituency of Rayagada district.
The ruling BJD is winning the seat for the last two terms, which was once known as home turf of the Congress.
This time Congress has kept a stronghold in the constituency. Former minister and veteran Congress leader Dambarudhar Ulaka's son Nilamadhab Ulaka is lobbying for party ticket. He is cousin brother of Koraput MP Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka.
Dambarudhar Ulaka has represented the constituency five times on Congress ticket since 1974 and son Nilamadhab has come to the fore to continue the legacy by strengthening the party organisation at grassroots level and a frontrunner for party ticket.
On the other hand, Nilamadhab Hikaka, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 election on Congress ticket, is lobbying for 2024 and he has good relation with Koraput MP Saptagiri Sankar and party workers in the constituency.
While Jagannath Saraka of BJD won the seat by getting 66,150 votes, Hikaka was in the second position with 52,818 votes in the last election.
Dambarudhar won the seat in 2009 defeating BJD candidate Jagannath Saraka by 359 votes but lost in 2014 by a margin of 29,180 votes while Saraka won getting highest 72,366 votes.
After 2014 debacle, Dambarudhar was not active in politics and Congress fielded Nilamadhab Hikka in 2019 who lost by 13,332 votes from BJD's Jagannath Saraka.
This time Dambarudhar is lobbying for Congress ticket for his son.