Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 17 :
The high-voltage electioneering for urban local bodies (ULBs) polls on September 19 came to an end today with campaigning reaching a fever pitch on the last day.
The three major political parties – BJD, Congress and BJP – were seen making last minute attempts to woo the urban voters on the final day of campaigning. The result of the poll is expected to give an indication about which way the political wind is blowing ahead of the ensuing general and assembly elections in the state in 2014.
While BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik canvassed for party candidates in Ganjam district addressing public meetings at Rambha, Purusottampur, Chhatrapur, Kodala and Khallikote, the Congress team led by AICC general secretary and Odisha in-charge of party BK Hariprasad campaigned in the Brahmapur Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure the victory of party candidates.
The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC), the only corporation in the state to hold election along with other urban bodies, has become an acid test for both BJD and Congress. While four senior ministers of BJD and the chief minister are making an all out effort to put up a good show, the Congress is also leaving no stone unturned to register victory in the corporation.
Hariprasad addressed road shows and public gatherings, which were attended by PCC president Jayadev Jena, leader of Opposition in state Assembly Bhupinder Singh, former chief minister Giridhari Gamang, former union minister Chandrasekhar Sahu, veteran leaders Narasingh Mishra, Lulu Mohapatra and Prasad Harichandan among others.
As the campaign came to an end, the BJP boasted that it would achieve great success in the urban polls. The party is expecting to cash in on the “popularity” of Narendra Modi, who was recently anointed the saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The polls will be held in 66 urban local bodies. Political parties have boycotted elections in 25 ULBs in western Odisha to press the demand for a permanent bench of Odisha High Court in the region.