Kendrapara (LocalWire) July 12: The ruling BJD may have garnered a formidable electoral base in Patkura, thanks to its various development schemes and sops like rice at one rupee, and direct cash transfer under KALIA scheme, but a large number of Fani-affected, unhappy farmers and weavers may make the by-poll difficult for the party.
The votes of farmers and weavers could make a difference to the outcome in Patkura.
The sound of looms of many in the weaver community has been for over two months due to the slipshod attitude of the government in providing help to those affected by the severe cyclone.
“After the cyclone, the state government had promised to provide financial help to enable us get new loom. But the officials failed to keep their promises and hence we are determined to teach BJD a lesson in the coming polls,” a cyclone-affected weaver from Korua village Sanatan Sahoo said.
“The state government has failed miserably in mitigating the problems of the weavers with the result that a large number of weavers and their family members have decided to vote for the BJP,” another weaver of Kuseapala village Manas Sahoo stated.
“The early rains during the cyclone Fani two months back dealt a severe blow to the agricultural economy of Patkura areas as it washed away the standing summer paddy crops, besides biri, mung and other vegetable crops. But the authorities are yet to provide any help to us,” a villager from Garadapur Ramakanta Swain said, adding that the community will be voting in favour of the BJP candidate.
Around 35,000 voters from 13 villages in the river island of Luna-Karandia can easily decide the fate of the candidates in Patkura where BJP, BJD and Congress are eyeing for the lion’s share of votes.
“Our village is located between the two rivers and hence it is vulnerable to flooding. Frequent floods in river island villages make our life uncertain.
We have made umpteen requests to the authorities, including the late BJD MLA Bedaprakash to build river embankments and save us from the flood, but they did not pay any heed to our demands,” Arjun Jena, a villager from Purosotampur said.
“While BJD leaders are spending huge money, the voters of Patkura will vote for BJP candidate Bijaya Mohapatra,” the BJP’s district unit president Duryodhan Sahoo pointed out.
More than 50 BJD leaders, including ministers, MPs and MLAs are campaigning at Patkura for BJD candidate Sabitri Agrawalla.
“Sabitri Agrawalla’s victory is almost certain as BJD is popular among the voters. BJP has no base in Patkura but we are not taking any chances,” Aul MLA Pratap Dev said.