Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Chandikhol, Apr 7:
Meet this young independent candidate in the Barchana assembly constituency in Odisha.
39-year old Jatindra Sahu is just like any other commoner struggling to eke out a living. What is, however, different about him is his passion and craze for elections.
Jatindra hails from Kharmanga village under Siha panchayat in Barchana block of Jajpur district and is a graduate in Arts. But he earns his livelihood by selling vegetables at a makeshift footpath shop at the Chandikhol square. Earlier, he used to run a paan shop from the same place.
Come elections, Jatindra packs up his business and is ready to jump into the fray. He files his nominations as a candidate by somehow arranging money from near and dear ones for the cash deposit.
This time Jatindra is contesting from Barchana Assembly constituency as an independent candidate. He has been allotted the ‘bat’ symbol.
After having a stomach-full of ‘pakhal’(water rice) at his home, Jatindra moves out on his bicycle with a bagful of pushing cards for campaigning. Wherever he spots a crowd, he loses no time in distributing the pushing cards -with his photograph and election symbol printed on them- while appealing to them with folded hands to vote for him.
Jatindra is ready with his answer : “I am contesting elections to serve the people. If people desire they will vote for me. Iwill continue to contest till people realise my worth and help me win one day.”
In 2009 Jatindra had contested from Barchana on a Kalinga Sena ticket. He had got 229 votes in his favour. Similarly, in 2007 he had contested as a sarpanch candidate from Siha panchayat. In 2012, he had contested simultaneously from zone 20 and 16 of Barchana in the panchayat elections. In none of the elections he has contested Jatindra has fetched not more than 500 votes.
But he is surely not the one to give up.