Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, June 24:
With less than a week left for elections to Bolangir Municipality, a key western Odisha district headquarters town, campaigning by mainstream political parties BJD, Congress, BJP as well as independents is in full swing.
While the BJD and the Congress have fielded candidates in all the 21 wards of the municipality, which go to polls on July 1, the BJP has fielded candidates in 16 wards. There are nine independent candidates in the fray.
BJD district president and local MP Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo, Korei MLA and Ollywood actor Akash Dasnayak and Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, who are leading the BJD campaign are visiting each and every ward to seek votes for their party candidates.
“Several people-oriented schemes have been undertaken both in the Bolangir assembly constituency as well as in the district, so people are going to vote for BJD and we are going to capture the Balangir Municipality”, said Kalikesh Singhdeo.
“Chief Minister and BJD’s supremo Naveen Patnaik’s popularity among the masses will ensure BJD emerges victorious in the the municipal polls”, said Korei MLA and Ollywood actor Akash Dasnayak.
Although the Congress campaign has been comparatively low-key, party leaders are hopeful of capturing the municipality.
The victory of veteran leader Narasingh Mishra from the Balangir assembly seat in the last elections has instilled new confidence among the Congress party rank and file. They also believe people will continue to vote against the BJD this time as well.
“Congress candidate Narasingh Mishra’s win in the recent elections has inspired Congress workers and we are confident of winning control over the municipality”, said Bhagwan Bagarti, district president Congress.
Narasingh Mishra’s son Samarendra has launched a door to door campaign for the party candidates.
The BJP, which has lagged behind so far, is expected to put all its might in the last leg of the campaign.
Local observers feel the independents could play an important role in the elections which appear as of now to have been a BJD vs Congress battle.