Jagatsinghpur April 16 (LocalWire): The second phase of elections here will see several political heavyweights, along with their family members, fighting it out to retain power in forthcoming elections.
Dynastic politics which was once the domain of the Congress has now spread to other political parties as local leaders have managed to give tickets to children of veteran party leaders in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Both the sons of former Congress leader and deputy chief minister late Basant Kumar Biswal are in the fray.
His younger son Ranjib Biswal was MP from Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat in 1986 and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1988 while his elder brother Chiranjib Biswal who had won Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat in 2014 is again contesting from this seat. Ranjib is not contesting this election.
Another Congress party leader Bipin Bihari Das, who had represented the Balikuda Assembly seat in 1961 has been succeeded by his son Raghunandan Das, 58 years later as the BJD candidate from Balikuda Erasama Assembly seat.
He had contested the 2014 elections as an Indpendent but was defeated.
Former minister Basudev Mohapatra who had won the Balikuda seat in 1971, 1974 and 1980 is succeeded by his son Lalatendu Mohapatra from Balikuda Erasama seat with a Congress ticket.
Like Basant Kumar Biswal and Das, veteran Congress leader late Laxman Mallick dominated the election scenario in this district when he was MP from 1980 to 1984. He was once a mentor to many Congress leaders.
This election will see his two children, son Devi Prasad Mallick and daughter Pratima Mallick, head the list of Congress candidates.
Devi Prasad has been lucky to receive the party ticket from Tirtol Assembly seat after former MP Bibhuprasad Tarai defected to the BJP.
Congress had nominated Tarai from this seat but he wanted to contest the Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituency which he was denied. As this seat fell vacant, Congress handed it over in a platter to Devi Prasad.
‘By the blessings of God, I have received the Congress party ticket from Tirtol Assembly seat. I am not a new face since people know me as Laxman Mallick’s son,’ he acknowledged.
‘Congress has stronghold in Biridi, Raghunathpur and Tirtol areas so I am confident to win in this election,’ he added.
Devi Prasad’s sister Pratima Mallick is contesting as the Congress candidate from Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat. She said ‘I contested as an Independent candidate from Tirtol Assembnly seat in 2009 but was defeated which helped me gather experience. Our father’s image will help us to garner votes in favour of Congress,’ she added.
Paradip sitting MLA Damodar Rout and his son Sambit Routray are both contesting but from different parties.