Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Baleswar, April 8:
The change in the tour schedule of the Congress president, who was supposed to visit the state on April 10, is believed to counter the impact of Modi’s Odisha visit and to salvage the position of the party’s Lok Sabha candidate Srikant Jena whose fortune in his old seat appears to be dipping by the day.
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will also be visiting Baleswar on the same day to campaign for party’s Lok Sabha candidate Pratap Sarangi who is gaining in strength across the seven assembly segments.
The Biju Janata dal (BJD) has fielded a newcomer Rabindra Jena for the Baleswar Lok Sabha seat.
Jena faces stiff competition from not only the BJP and BJD candidates but also from Dr Kartikeswar Patra of the Trinamool Congress who is all set to cut into his support base in the constituency.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is likely to campaign for party candidates in several constituencies going to polls on April 17, party sources said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also likely to address an election meeting in coastal Odisha. However, the dates and places of the election meetings to be addressed by the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi are yet to be finalised.