‘Common men’ in Congress list of star campaigners; Bijay Mohanty, Aparajita out

Bhubaneswar: After much addition and subtraction, the State Congress today came out with its final list of star campaigners for the ensuing three tier rural elections including two common men, a singer and brother of late Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra (Lulu) apart from Congress heavyweights.

The party has brought Lulu’s brother Lalitendu, a first timer, along with anti liquor leader of Kandhamal Keshamati Pradhan and Rahul Nayak of Tumudibandha who lost his parents in police firing, to the campaigning battle while five party MLA including Yogesh Singh and Krushna chandra Sagaria did not find a place in the list. Singer Narendra Kumar will also be seen campaigning for the Congress. But, the grand old party has excluded the name of veteran cine stars Bijay Mohanty and Aparajita Mohanty, who had unsuccessfully contested for Lok Sabha seats on Congress ticket in last general election.

Among others, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, MLA Naba Das, veteran leader Hemananda Biswal, former union minister Kanhu Lenka and KP Singhdeo and Congress in-charge of Odisha and his deputy Subhankar Sarkar are chosen the eminent campaigners for the party.

The principal Opposition party in the State had prepared a list of 60 including the names of more common people. But, the number was later reduced to 40 after Election Commission disapproved the big list.

“We prepared a list of 60 noted campaigners. Some common people, who are associated with the pro-people movement, are also included in the list of star campaigners”, PCC president Prasad Harichandan told media persons before the submission of list to Election Commission.

The party has planned to woo voters by the method of door to door meeting and in a complete rural style. The entire State has been divided into seven zones and one popular leader will be in charge of each zone.

“Now, we have changed the style of campaigning a little. The Congress will meet every person and campaign in complete rural style. Door-to-door campaigning has been begun”, PCC treasurer Md. Moqim said.