Influx Of ‘Seasonal’ Leaders In Poll-Surcharged Patkura

Bhubaneswar:  Scenario in Patkura assembly seat, going to bye-election on July 20, is politically-surcharged with poll fever literally infecting voters.

At ten days are left for the polls, the constituency is literally under siege with dozens of heavyweight BJD leaders deployed across the constituency to ensure that BJD candidate wins polls and BJP candidate Bijoy Mohapatra bites the dust on July 24.

There was drought of star campaigners in BJP’s campaign trail so far. Mohapatra is being seen with his group of diehard supporters undertaking either door-to-door campaign or staging motorcycle rallies. The expected absence of support from the district and State BJP unit was glaring to escape notice. However the BJP’s campaign trail has received the much-needed boost with union minister Pratap Sarangi arriving at the constituency to seek votes for Mohapatra, remarked a local BJP cadre.

The Congress’s poll campaign has so far been lack luster with no senior leader hitting the campaign trail till date.    

Three major parties, BJD, Congress and BJP have fielded their candidates in Patkura. While BJD has fielded Sabitri Agarwal its candidate, senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra is the BJP nominee for the seat. Congress has named Jayant Mohanty as its candidate.  

Veteran politician and BJP candidate Mohapatra, one of the vociferous critics of BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, is contesting from the seat in his bid to make entry into State assembly Mohapatra was one of the founders of the BJD but was unceremoniously ousted from the party by Naveen just before the 2000 assembly polls. Since then, he has not been able to make it to the State assembly.

BJD , which takes Patkura poll battle as a matter of utmost prestige, has deployed dozens of its senior leaders and young turks to the politically-sensitive seat, The migration of seasonal politicians has led everybody to believe that the voters in Patkura will now be mapped individually as every votes count in the ‘intriguing’ July 20 poll battle.

It is being largely believed that BJD chief Patnaik is fighting a proxy battle here against his sworn enemy Mohapatra. He is likely to camp in Kendrapara in the coming days and campaign in Patkura for at least two days. With Patnaik and his trusted lieutenants stage-managing the election management, BJD candidate Agarwal has been reduced to a symbolic entity.

 The influx of galaxy of BJD leaders into the poll-surcharged constituency is left everybody right from man on the streets to thousands of voiceless voters confused and perplexed a lot. As the trendy and air-conditioned SUVs carrying the ‘seasonal’ leaders zoom past the dusty lanes and by lanes of this predominantly rural constituency, people have now begun to believe that ‘this election is different and dissimilar than the past ones’.

The migration of seasonal politicians has led everybody to believe that the voters in Patkura will now be mapped individually as every votes count in the ‘intriguing’ July 20 poll battle.