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Another Congress citadel in the state, non-Congressmen have been elected from here only twice in the past, in 1977 and in 1989. In 1971 Chandulal Chandrakar was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time, went under in 1977, resurfaced in 1980, retained the seat in 1984, was sent packing in 1989, and bounced back in 1991. In 1996, however, the BJP's Tarachand Sahu defeated the Congress candidate by more than 25,000 votes.
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