Kendrapara: Highly qualified candidates like IIT graduates, post graduates, engineering graduates, PhD and law graduates have emerged victorious in panchayat polls in Kendrapara district this time.
Though highly educated people chose to keep away from rural polls in the past, this time they had expressed their desire to fight the polls for development of their respective rural pockets. `
While voters reposed trust on majority of them and cast their votes in their favour, there are also stray instances of highly qualified losing the polls.
An IIT alumni Nihar Ranjan Beura (50) had quit his job, forsaking a lucrative career, to fight the rural polls in Dumuka gram panchayat under Marshaghai block. He won the polls for the post of panchayat samity member.
“There is a general perception that people join politics to earn money. I have pledged to prove it wrong. People have elected me thrusting a lot of hope on me. I will not let them down. My priority will be to ensure effective functioning of canal irrigation network as my area is an agricultural belt. Besides I will do my best so that social security schemes reach the targeted sections,” Beura said.
42-year-old Debabrata Choudhury, who won the Zilla Parishad zone-21, is qualified with LLM degree and PhD in human rights law. He was teaching University Law College in Bhubaneswar before plunging into hurly-burly of rural polls.
Choudhury, whose spouse is a judicial officer, said I was in student politics and was elected president of premier Ravenshaw autonomous college, Cuttack in 1997. Inclination towards politics was imbibed in me since student days. I have now got an opportunity to serve the people. I want to go back to the roots where I was brought up.
Funds are flowing to rural bodies. My primary concern will be to see that funds are judiciously utilised and not siphoned off , said Choudhury, a native of Khurisia Village in Mahakalpada block.
Nayak, who was a lecturer in Loknath Mahavidyalaya college in Korua, said Gross misuse of panchayat funds prompted me to contest the polls this time .
Civil engineer, Sumanta Sethy, had quit a lucrative job in a private firm to contest for Panchayat Samity member post from Sanabadagopalpur GP in Rajnagar tehsil.
Sethy, who won the polls, said My sole objective is to usher in development in the area. Our GP is a coastal village where water is salinized. Safe drinking water is still scarce in our areas. The government agencies had pumped money to put in place the drinking water facility in the village.
But as many as 11 deep tube well have turned dysfunctional .
While people with higher educational background won the poll battles in many areas, there were stray cases of poll loss also for educated sections.
Voters of Kapaleswar GP near here rejected Subhapriya Rout (26), who was a master degree and law degree holder. She lost the polls for Saapanch post.
Similarly Basalata Jena, MSC (B Ed) failed to win the Sarpanch polls from Bhagabanpur GP.
Of the 117 candidates in the fray for Zilla Parishad polls, 42 of them were either graduates or additional degree holders. Of them, 15 are master degree holders or have degrees in technical science.
Above 35 per cent of the candidates contesting the ZP zones were degree holders or higher educational degree holders.