Jagatsinghpur, April 14 (LocalWire): The Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituency, the largest Parliamentary seat in the state is set to witness a three-pronged contest among the ruling BJD, Congress and the BJP during the general elections scheduled to be held on 29 April.
This Lok Sabha seat covers four Assembly constituencies – Jagatsinghpur, Tirtol, Paradip and Balikuda- Erasama. The area stretches from Paradip port in Jagatsinghpur district to Konark in Puri district.
Nine MP candidates, including three women candidates are contesting in this election.
Though, there are several candidates but the main contest is between the BJD, Congress and BJP.
Former MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai after resigning from the Congress over distribution of ticket has joined the BJP and contesting from his old turf which he had won in 2009 as a CPI candidate. Tarai had defeated Congress candidate Rabindra Sethi.
The CPI was then the BJD’s election partner. In 2014, the alliance broke and Tarai left the CPI and contested with a Congress ticket. In the last elections, sitting BJD MP Kulamani Samal had defeated Tarai by a margin of 2,76,394 votes and the BJP candidate Mallick had received only 1,17,448 votes.
This time, BJD has ignored Samal and nominated Tirtol sitting MLA Rajshree Mallick as BJD candidate while the Congress has also fielded a new face, Pratima Mallick, daughter of three-time MP, Laxman Mallick from this seat.
After filing the nomination papers, these three parties are trying to lure voters with attractive promises. While the Congress and the BJD have fielded new faces, the BJP has shown faith on former MP Tarai by giving him the party ticket.
Rajshree Mallick is very active and has intensified her campaigns in all the seven Assembly constituencies where BJD has a stronghold.
The Congress candidate is not active here as she received the party ticket very late and also because she has no rapport with the people of these constituencies.
Rajshree is going door to door to woo the voters while BJP and Congress candidates have not yet stated campaigning in full swing.
Tarai said he is campaigning on relatable issues like education, health, irrigation, women humiliation and torture, and failure of developmental works including ‘KALIA Mo Gaon Moo Bikash’ undertaken by the BJD government. Similarly, Rajshree is banking on the developmental works of the ruling government in the state.
Congress candidate Pratima Mallick said both the BJD and BJP ruling government had promised to benefit farmers, women and give other benefits to the local people.
However, 19 years have passed but the promise is yet to be fulfilled by the state government. She is highlighting the issue along with other issues like increase in MSP for paddy, employment opportunities and farm loan waiver.
Political observers said BJP would fail to avail the golden opportunity of anti- incumbency factor of the BJD because of delay in selection of its candidate.
Even before the selection of Congress and BJP candidates, the BJD candidate had started her campaigning and thus strengthened her stronghold.