Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pratap Sarangi from Balasore has been trending as ‘Odisha’s Modi’ on social media since his win in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Sarangi, lives in a kucha house and has little to call his own wealth. He never married and his mother died last year. He uses a cycle for commute and is a grassroots worker in Odisha. The photos of his simple living went viral in which he was seen packing for going to Delhi for fulfilling his duties as an MP.
Sarangi, associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has earned deep respect of people for his work in the region. Sarangi is also dedicated to Sanskrit, probably being the only member of Parliament who speaks fluent Sanskrit.
As soon as the news of his election spread, people started sharing details about how Sarangi had dedicated his whole life to social work and upliftment of common people, calling him as being rooted among the masses. Sarangi himself is deeply spiritual and made immense contribution to the cause of Dharma.
Sarangi defeated the incumbent Rabindra Jena of BJD is the LS elections 2019 by 12,956 votes. Except for 1998, 1999 and 2004, the seat had never been in the account of BJP. Sarangi had been elected as MLA from the Nilgiri seat in 2004 and 2009, but lost to Jena in 2014.
Jena is considered close to PM Narendra Modi. It is said that whenever Modi visits Odisha, he never fails to meet Sarangi.
The popularity of Sarangi has given rise to voices supporting his as chief ministerial candidate for the state. Born in a poor family in Gopinathpur in Nilgiri district of Odisha, Sarangi went on to graduate from Fakir Mohan College. He wanted to become a sanyasi with Ramkrishna Math, but the Math encouraged him to do social work in his region. Sarangi returned to his village and started serving people. Reportedly, he has opened many schools in tribal areas of Mayurbhanj and Balasore.