Jagatsinghpur, April 15 (LocalWire): Will BJP leader Damodar Rout be able to bloom the lotus in the coastal seat of Balikuda Erasama, is now the common refrain of the electorate.
Rout won the seat five times: 1977-1980, 1980-1984, 1990-1995, 2000-2004 and 2004-2009 and after the seat’s bifurcation, he contested from Paradip and won twice: 2009-2014 and 2014-2019 but the people of this Assembly constituency have not accepted him and are thus doubting his win.
A BJP leader of Borikina panchayat under Balikuda block, Raghunath Swain said ‘We hoped Rout will get the sympathy wave because he is contesting his home turf after ten years but he is unable to garner sympathy from locals as there is lack of the party ideology during campaigning.
Since he has not yet started campaigning in favour of the BJP MLA candidate in Paradip against his sopn who is the BJD candidate people have not accepted him.’
Another BJP leader from Balitutha, Narayan Das said ‘Rout has ignored local BJP leaders and not kept any relation with them.
They strengthened the stronghold of BJP in Erasama and Balikuda area.
The party supporters skipped his nomination rally,’ he said.
Another voter Lokanath Sahoo said ‘I am a staunch supporter of PM Modi but not of Rout.
He is showing sympathy to his son and the people of this constituency are not foolish to understand his political game.
So, we cannot accept him for his double standard.’
Member of BJP state executive, Priayranjan Das, who, was an aspirant for the party ticket from this seat said ‘we had expected definite change in Balikuda Erasama where BJD party has represented the seat since the last 10 to 15 years because the people wanted a change.
The arrival of the Paradip sitting MLA Damodar Rout after his expulsion from the BJD would not change anything as the people have not accepted him.’
He further added, ‘I had suggested intensifying the campaign from Paradip in favour of BJP candidate to bring direct impact on the voters of Balikuda and Erasama but he did not agree and therefore I have not extended my cooperation.’