Odisha’s Octogenarian May Be World’s Biggest Election Loser, But Not A Quitter!


BHUBANESWAR: For him, it is a hobby to contest every election. He has no fear of losing that other politicians have. The 80-year-old Shyam Babu Subudhi, who stood in every Lok Sabha elections since 1962 and lost every single one, has thrown his hat into the ring for the in swing Rajya Sabha election in Odisha.

Subudhi, who has already unsuccessful contested 18 times for Lok Sabha and ten times for Assembly, will be contesting the Rajya Sabha seat for the third time for which election is scheduled to be held on June 11.

Odisha's Octogenarian May Be World's Biggest Election Loser, But Not A Quitter

Dr Subudhi, a homoeopathy practitioner in Berhampur, on Friday, submitted his nomination paper before the returning officer in Odisha Assembly. He might have lost his every election. But, he is quite confident that this time, he would make to the upper house with the support of Congress and BJP.

“Congress and BJP have assured me that they would support my candidature, and the MLAs of both parties would be my proposer. Since they would not file any candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls this time given their number in the state Assembly, they would support me this time,” said Subudhi.

He said both the parties are consulting with their central leadership over the issue.Odisha's Octogenarian May Be World's Biggest Election Loser, But Not A Quitter

The man is also confident that he would also get the support of BJD leaders.

“I will approach Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to support me to fight against corruption,” said the octogenarian man.

Interestingly, his one-page brochure (you may call it one type of election manifesto) claims to fight against chit fund scam in which BJD leaders are involved. The brochure also has photographs Naveen Patnaik and Pyari Mohan Mohapatra sharing the dais with arrested Seashore Group head Prasant Das.

It also claimed that both Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had struck a deal to slow down the ongoing CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam.

When asked that how his journey in contesting election started, Subudhi said his electoral debut came in 1957, when he fought against former state Minister Brundaban Nayak over the setting up of a school in Berhampur.

What started as a battle over a school soon turned into an obsession for him.

Dr Subudhi had contested his last elections in two constituencies Berhampur and Aska in Ganjam district in 2014. He lost his deposit this time also.

He fought in both assembly and parliamentary elections until 1980 when he took on former Chief Minister JB Patnaik in Begunia assembly constituency. From then on, he has focused his efforts purely on parliamentary elections.

In 1996, he fought against the Prime Minister of India, PV Narasimha Rao, for the Berhampur seat. He also fought Biju Patnaik and his son and incumbent Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from Aska constituency.