Kendrapara, April 4 (LocalWire): The state government’s ‘one rupee rice’ scheme is the main poll plank for the ruling party in the coastal district of Kendrapara.
‘The subsidy over rice is now taking centre stage in the election battle and the scheme has stolen a march over all others,’ said a senior BJD leader and chairman of Kendrapara municipality, Dhiren Sahoo.
The BJD is hopeful of gaining the support of the poor in the state for whom they started the one-rupee rice scheme.
On the other hand the BJP is trying to convince the rural voters that the Centre is providing a subsidy of Rs 24.64 per kg of rice and the state government only Rs 3.16 per kg for the scheme. But the gullible people are not believing the BJP, said Sarat Das, a retired school teacher from Kendrapara.
The ruling party has garnered a formidable electoral base in the rural pockets of the district by constructing roads and providing drinking water and electricity.
But their undoing has been in the irregularity in distribution of houses under the Indira Awas Yogana and the opposition is trying to take political mileage out of it.
Indira Awas Yojana has become a mess in most of the villages. People are showing signs of resentment across the district and the ruling party might find it tough to pacify and retain the voters, said senior BJP leader, Ganesh Samal.
In the last elections, BJD candidates had been elected from Kendrapada, Patkura and Mahakalapada while Congress candidates won from Aul and Rajnagar Assembly seats in the district.
So, even though the ruling BJD appear to be riding high during campaigning, on-ground mathematics suggests that the ruling party will find it difficult to retain all the three Assembly seats this time mainly because of Baijayant Panda joining the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity soaring after the airstrikes on purported terror camps in Pakistan.
Congress has been relegated as a third force in the district, said BJP leader Baidyanath Chaterjee.