Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Khandapada, Nov 17:
Going against the norm of paying voters to influence poll outcomes, Aama Odisha Party (AOP) — on its second foundation day today — pledged to win over voters instead of paying them for their electoral support.
Addressing a massive march from Khandapada to Kantilo on the occasion, AOP President Soumya Ranjan Patnaik told thousands of participants, “Buying votes have become an established trend made popular by several parties. We will challenge this and instead try to win votes. We will work towards addressing the issues of the public. Mother, motherland, mother tongue and liquor-free society will be our priority”.
Party workers and supporters were also equally enthused over the march and show of force.
“We are participating in this rally to make our voice heard. We are tired after close to two decades of rule by corrupt BJD and its Chief Naveen Patnaik – who has no respect for Odisha or Odias. People keep voting them back to power since they lack a credible alternative. This creates a political void, AOP intends to fill,” said Shaktikant Jena, a young participant in the rally.
“This is the beginning of the change. The rally that started here today, will be taken to every nook and corner of the state in coming days to show the incompetence of the BJD government. It will continue until BJD is shown the gates and the alternate force comes to power led by AOP,” said another supporter of the party.
In his reaction to the massive participation in the rally, party chief Patnaik said, “I had never got so much love, seen so much enthusiasm among the public in my two decades in politics. I am certainly encouraged over this.”
“We have received support from the public way above our own estimates. People today walked 15 kilometres without being paid. I believe, we have discovered a new force in ourselves. The men –especially the young ones—who participated in the rally today will be a source of inspiration. We will take their message across the state,” he added.