Bhubaneswar, July 10 (LocalWire): Biju Janata Dal, taking the Patkura by-poll battle as a matter of utmost prestige, has deployed dozens of senior leaders and young Turks to the politically-sensitive Assembly seat to ensure its victory.
The sudden influx of BJD leaders into the poll-surcharged constituency has left everybody, right from man on the streets to thousands of voiceless voters, confused and perplexed.
As the trendy and air-conditioned SUVs carrying the ‘seasonal’ leaders zoom past the dusty lanes and by-lanes of this predominantly rural constituency, people have now begun to believe that ‘this election is different and dissimilar than the past ones’.
The migration of heavyweight politicians has led everybody to believe that the voters in Patkura will now be mapped individually as every vote counts in the ‘intriguing’ 20 July by-poll battle.
‘Over 30 MLAs beside ministers are camping in Patkura. Naveen Babu has attached additional importance to Patkura by-polls. We are leaving no stone unturned to make it a success,’ said a senior party leader requesting anonymity.
‘I am in charge of arranging accommodation for our outstation leaders. The hotels and guest houses were all booked in advance,’ he concluded.
The high-voltage campaign was expected as BJP’s Bijoy Mohapatra, whom the ruling party has always bracketed as one of the sworn enemies of party chief Patnaik, is contesting.
It is being largely believed that BJD chief Patnaik is fighting a proxy battle here against Mohapatra.
He is likely to camp in Kendrapara and campaign in Patkura.
With Patnaik and his trusted lieutenants stage-managing the election management, BJD candidate Agarwalla has been reduced to a symbolic entity.
There was a drought in star campaigners in BJP’s campaign trail so far. Mohapatra is seen with his group of diehard supporters undertaking either door-to-door campaign or staging motorcycle rallies.
The absence of support from the district and state BJP unit was glaring. However, the BJP’s campaign trail has received the much-needed boost with union minister Pratap Sarangi arriving at the constituency to seek votes for Mohapatra, remarked a local BJP cadre.
The Congress’s poll campaign has so far been lack luster with no senior leader hitting the campaign trail till date.
What perturbs us most is that there will be flexing of money and muscle power in the coming days.
We are apprehensive of breach of peace in the region. The election commission needs to be more vigilant to stop the ways and means by political parties to hijack the popular mandate by unethical practices.
There is every possibility that parties will try to outsmart the other in unfair play to emerge victorious, said a voter requesting anonymity.