Berhampur, April 1 (LocalWire): Migrant workers form a big chunk of voters from Ganjam and Gajapati districts and all the major political party candidates in the fray have started to woo them back to their native places to cast their votes.
The total number of voters in 13 Assembly segments in Ganjam district is over 28.46 lakh. Around 15 to 20 percent of voters from Polasara, Khallikote, Aska, Sorada, Hinjili, Bhanjanagara, Sanakhemundi and Digaphandi in Ganjam and Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district are working away from their native villages.
While most of them work at Surat, several of them also work in other cities like Hyderabad and Chennai, too.
‘They will come to their village on their own and vote in favour of our party,’ said Congress candidate from Berhampur LS V Chandra Sekhar Naidu.
Kalyani Gajapathi, the BJD candidate from Paralakhemundi, also believes that the people from the district, who are now settled in Chennai, will come to vote in favour of her party. Kalyani had previously lived in Chennai before returning to Paralakhemundi, some months ago.
K Narayan Rao and Tirupati Panigrahy, BJP and Independent candidates respectively from
Paralakhemundi, have also done their bit to woo the migrant workers even before the announcement of the elections.
The candidates, irrespective of their party affiliations, have requested the people living away to cast their votes hoping that it would help them to win, said Sudhir Sabat, an activist.
Ashok Nayak, one of the supporters of Srikant Sahu, BJD candidate from Polasara Assembly segment, however, denied that the candidates were asking anyone to return to the villages to vote.
‘The villagers generally return during Danda Nata. After completing Danda Nata on Visubha Sankranti on 14 April, they return to their work place,’ he said.
‘This time, they will stay for some more days for Berhampur Thakurani Yatra and vote, which will hold in two phases on April 11 and April 18 in the district,’ he added.
The BJD and BJP had organized Odia cultural programmes at Surat, where number of Odia people of Ganjam district reside.
The programmes were attended by the chief minister Naveen Patnaik and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Political analysts said these programmes were organized to woo the Odia voters.