Jagatsinghpur, April 23 (LocalWire): Winning both Balikuda Erasama and Paradip Assembly constituencies has become a matter of prestige for both father and son, Damodar Rout and Sambit Rouitray, respectively, even though they are fighting from two different parties.
Paradip sitting MLA Rout, who had won this seat twice in 2009 and 2014 Assembly elections, is contesting from Balikuda-Erasama with a BJP ticket this year.
Rout is confident to win this seat because it was his stronghold when he was with the BJD. He had won Erasama Assembly seat five times from 1977 to 1980, 1980-1984, 1990-1995, 2000-2004 and 2004-2009.
His confidence came from the fact that he expected full cooperation from BJP leader Raghunandan Das, who has clout in this area and also from Congress leader Sarada Jena.
But to make matters worse for Rout, Das joined BJD and is contesting against Rout from this seat. Similarly, Jena, too, joined the BJD.
Rout is now facing double trouble in Balikuda Erasama as BJP doesn’t have a monopoly here after the defection of Das.
The fact that Rout is an outsider also didn’t help matters within the BJP.
Several leaders are also disappointed that they didn’t get a ticket from this seat and Rout was favoured by the saffron high command.
Like his father, Routray is also struggling in Paradip which has become a prestigious battle in this election with BJD pitting him from the bastion of local sitting MLA Rout, who is a two-time MLA from here.
Routray is contesting this seat for first time.
Taking a dig at Routray, locals said he does not know the names of even five villages in his constituency so how does he expect to win from this seat?’
With poll dates for the last phase of Assembly and Lok Sabha elections only a week away, Routray is trying to rein in rebels and pacify the dissidents to avoid damage to his prospect this election.
The sudden turnabout by BJD candidate-cum-trade union leader Santosh Patnaik, who had strongly protested the candidature of Routray, might give anb edge to Routray but other BJD leaders and workers have not accepted him since his father is anti-BJD and is also campaigning to oust BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik.
Political observers explained that the fate of both father and son are uncertain because both are struggling in their respective Assembly constituencies.