He conveyed his commitment to the development of the region, asserting that the local populace desires him to contest elections from Mahanga
Bhubaneswar: A recently emerged figure in Mahanga politics is Sovan Kar, the younger son of Sarat Kar and a former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer. He has stepped into the limelight with the aim of continuing his father’s legacy. Since resigning from his civil service position three years ago, with nearly 12 years of service left, Sovan has been actively engaging in cultural and social gatherings within the Mahanga Constituency.
With just three months remaining until both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2024, the fervor of high-stakes politics is palpable. Mahanga, a crucial constituency in Cuttack district, has a rich history of being represented by intellectual personalities in the Assembly. One of them is Sarat Kar, an accomplished parliamentarian and litterateur who has a strong legacy in Mahanga politics.
In the past two years since leaving his job, Sovan has made sporadic appearances at select social and cultural events. However, his recent increased presence in the assembly is worth noting. A significant event organized by Sovan recently was a reunion of his father’s friends and followers at Lalitagiri in Mahanga. Several senior leaders of the constituency, former PRI members, and longstanding followers of Sarat Kar attended the programme held on the pretext of New Year.
During a media interaction at the event, Sovan expressed his emotional attachment to Mahanga, citing it as his father’s birthplace and place of work. He conveyed his commitment to the development of the region, asserting that the local populace desires him to contest elections from Mahanga. If given the opportunity, he expressed his intention to be a candidate in the upcoming elections, aiming to serve the people.
The perplexing question, however, revolves around his party affiliation. The Congress seems an unlikely choice due to its weakened position in both Mahanga and Odisha.
However, Sovan’s father, former assembly speaker Sarat Babu, initiated his political journey within the Congress before transitioning to the Janata Party. Later, he joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). However, in 2004, Sarat Babu parted ways with the BJD, opting to rejoin the Congress due to differences with the party leadership.
Insiders suggest that Sovan Kar is unlikely to align with the Congress, leaving the BJP and BJD as potential options. While one of his IRS batch mates, Sambit Tripathi, has recently joined the BJP, Sovan’s political allegiance still remains undisclosed.
As of now, there is no indication that Sovan is inclined towards joining the BJP. Conversely, in the previous election, the BJP candidate demonstrated strong organizational skills and posed a formidable challenge to the current BJD MLA, Pratap Jena. Additionally, being a member of union minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s youth brigade adds to his political importance.
Given these circumstances, unless there is a significant political shift, the likelihood of Sovan becoming a BJP candidate remains minimal. It is worth noting that immediately after leaving his job, even though Sovan did not show inclinations towards any party, his social media posts clearly conveyed his stance criticizing the central government.
Assumption around a BJD affiliation arises due to Sovan’s speculated association with BJD’s influential figure, VK Pandian. Even there was a widespread speculation following his resignation that he had got green signal from BJD power corridor before quitting job.
Despite the absence of concrete signs indicating Sovan’s party inclination, analysts are divided on whether he will secure a party ticket. But the dynamics of Mahanga politics are likely to undergo a transformation as the current MLA Pratap Jena has become more or less controversial since 2021. Hence, only time will reveal Sovan Kar’s political trajectory and whether he will emerge as a candidate, potentially reshaping the political landscape in Mahanga.