Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Oct 13:
Amid fear of cyclonic storm Hudhud that hit the southern districts of Odisha, the campaign for the by-polls in Kandhamal Parliamentary seat ended today with all three major political parties making a final pitch for victory in the elections.
The by-election for the Lok Sabha seat is scheduled on October 15.
The three political parties – Congress, BJP and BJD – campaigned extensively on the last day by organising rallies and holding door to door campaigns making last ditch efforts to woo the voters.
Leaders of the three parties had camped in the seven assembly constituencies coming under the parliamentary seat before the nomination process started. The ruling BJD had went to the extent that it did not even bother asking its ministers engaged in the campaign to oversee the cyclone that battered the state causing damage in the southern districts.
About 13 ministers and dozens of MLAs, along with MPs, were engaged in the electioneering. The BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik had also advanced his campaign to ensure that he concludes his whirlwind visit to the Kandhamal district before Hudhud hit the state. The ruling party had also made generous use of its glamour quotient adding glitter to the election.
“The constituency has been voting for the party and I am confident our candidate will win the election with a huge margin of votes against other parties,” said senior BJD leader and Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.
The BJP also played its part by engaging two Union ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan to canvass votes for Rudramadhab Ray, party candidate and a former MP from the constituency. The campaign of the saffron party was led by senior party leader Bijay Mohapatra. Besides, state BJP president KV Singhdeo, legislature party leader Basant Panda, senior leader Suresh Pujari, along with other leaders, also participated in the electioneering.
“We are confident of winning the by-election as people know that the Union government led by Narendra Modi is doing an excellent job whereas the BJD government in the state is mired in corruption and scams. The Congress party has no impact in the election,” said senior party leader Rudra Pani.
The Congress party was not far behind the other two parties in campaigning. The faction ridden party witnessed a rare bonhomie during the electioneering, where Odisha in-charge of party BK Hariprasad, PCC president Jaydev Jena and former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik canvassed for votes for the party candidate Abhimanyu Behera, whom the party painted as a ‘son of soil’ to gain its vote bank. Besides, leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, deputy leader Chiranjeev Biswal and several senior leaders participated in the electioneering.
“The ruling BJD and BJP have done nothing for the development of the constituency. Both the parties, who were allies till 2009, are once again coming closer to bail out each other. The BJD is trying to save its leaders from chit fund scam as CBI is investigating the scam,” said former Union minister and senior Congress leader Srikant Jena.