Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:
Odisha Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik has asked party men to pull out all stops to make sure that the party does not lose even one of the nine urban local bodies (ULBs) in the elections to be held on April 7.
At a meeting with party leaders here yesterday, the BJD supremo assigned nine senior leaders, including seven ministers, the charge of looking after the campaign in the four new and five existing municipal bodies. Other leaders have been asked to cooperate with these leaders.
While Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi will supervise the Balimela campaign, Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das will take care of the Sunabeda Municipality. Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigarhy has been tasked with Tushara NAC, Health Minister Atanu Sabyascahi Nayak with Belpahad municipality, Rural Developement Minister Badri Narayan Patra with Dharamgarh, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra with Daspalla Municipality and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh with Ranpur.
Apart from the above mentioned seven ministers, senior leader Debashis Samantray has been asked to supervise poll preparation for the Paradeep Municipality and Planning Board Deputy Chairman N Bhaskar Rao has been deployed at Rairakhol.
These nine leaders have been asked to camp at the towns going to polls, reach out to the public about government schemes and work in coordination with the local leaders, party workers, local MLAs and MPs to ensure victory for the BJD.
Besides, they have been asked to decide on the candidates through mutual discussion and work out the ground strategy in order to avoid infighting. The Chief Minister specifically asked to avoid dissent inside the party as it would benefit the rival BJP and Congress.
The nominations can be filed within March 16-20 between 11 AM – 3 PM and will be scrutinised on March 23. The final list of candidates will be announced at 5 PM on March 26.