Bhubaneswar: Pratap Chandra Sarangi, who is known for a very simple lifestyle and using bicycle as a mode of transport, on Thursday got the prize of being a giant killer in the recently concluded 2019 Lok Sabha elections as he was inducted into the Narendra Modi Cabinet as the Minister of State.
Sarangi, a two-time independent MLA from Nilgiri in Odisha, contested as the BJP’s candidate from Balasore and turned out to be the giant killer in the elections as he was contesting against two of the richest candidates in the elections.
Sarangi defeated sitting BJD’s MP Rabindra Kumar Jena, an industrialist and Congress candidate Nabajyoti Patnaik, son of Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik.
Sarangi got 4.83 lakh votes against Jena’s 4.70 lakh votes. He won comfortably by a margin of 12,000 votes. Sarangi had contested unsuccessfully as the BJP candidate in 2014 Lok Sabha polls as the BJP candidate. He had lost the polls against Jena by a margin of 1.42 lakh votes.
Jena is the proprietor of a news channel named News World Odisha, who had earlier also served as CEO, then as managing director of Balasore Alloys. Jena got the backing of Odisha Chief MInister Naveen Patnaik during his electoral battle.
However, banking on Modi’s wave and his own goodwill, Sarangi won the race, leaving Jena stunned, who was largely believed to be invincible from the Balasore parliamentary constituency. Modi had also campaigned for Sarangi in Balasore.
During campaigning, Sarangi campaigned in hired autorickshaw. On the other hand, his opponents used luxury vehicles for campaigning. Sarangi, 64, is known as a firebrand speaker and a good orator.