Kendrapara, April 27, (LocalWire): A fierce electoral battle is underway for the Mahakalapada assembly seat, as the ruling BJD candidate Atanu Sabyasachi is leaving no stone unturned to defend his citadel.
BJP seems to have made a dent in the BJD bastion by raising farmers’ issues from distress sale of paddy, shortage of drinking water and power to the plight of fishermen.
BJP candidate Bijay Pradhan said that BJD’s hold over the constituency has slackened due to the anti-people policies of the state government.
“Fishing ban is a major issue here, as majority of the people depend on sea for livelihood. Over 800 fishermen were arrested and more than 100 boats were seized. People are very angry with BJD,” said Arjun Mandal, a fisherman from Kharinashi.
Although the main contest here is between BJP and BJD, Congress’ Bhibransu Lenka is likely to eat away a sizeable vote bank of BJD, as Lenka has good base in Mahakalapada.
“Influential and rich persons managed to get houses under the Indira Awas Yogana and enlisted their names in KALIA scheme by greasing the palms of government officials and ruling party leaders for which large number of poor have turned their backs from BJD,” said Manas Jena of village Mangalpur.
Congress, BJD and BJP have intensified their campaign to gain the support of around 50,000 Bengali voters in the area. Congress leader and daughter of former president Pranab Mukherjee, Sharmistha Mukherjee has campaigned at Kharinashi on Friday to woo the voters.
During her extensive tour in the Bengali dominated villages, Sharmistha criticized PM Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for their failure to provide security to Bengali speaking people in the region.
“Many Bengali speaking people have no land in their names. Congress Party will provide land patas to all seaside villagers after coming to power in the state,” said Sharmistha Mukherjee.
The ruling party also brought a former minister and senior BJD leader Arabinda Dhali, a Bengali to woo the Bengali voters. Bengali must realize that only BJD can assure them development, said its MLA candidate from Mahakalapada, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.