Mrunal Manmay Dash

Surrounded by rivers Baitarani and Genguti, the small town of Dhamnagar gets anxious every rainy season. The escape ways dug in those rivers around Dhamnagar to shield the nearby Jajpur town has proven to be a bane for the voters.

Flood is a constant threat for these people and a major issue during elections. Probably why, the voters have never repeated any MLA from the constituency since 2020.

As per the locals, every politician comes bearing assurances to alleviate the flood situation in the constituency, but once the election gets over, nobody seems to be remembering the promises.

Pertinent to mention here that to safeguard Jajpur town, five escape ways were dug in Baitarani and Genguti rivers fifty years back. But the move backfired and inundated Dhamnagar instead.

A local said, “It is a long pending issue for us in Dhamnagar. We suffer in every rain. But the travesty is, nobody comes here during floods. The works done to construct dams are of substandard quality and they cave in every year, inundating our villages.”

Meanwhile, the fight to win the Assembly seat has intensified with nomination of rebel BJD candidate Rajendra Das. While the BJD grapples with in-fighting, the BJP has been conducting meetings and road shows by senior leaders and Ministers like Dharmendra Pradhan.

Speaking to reporters, Pradhan said, “Dhamnagar has been neglected by leaders who have ruled the Assembly for longer durations. The ruling BJD is using the administration and money to influence voters but the people are with the BJP.”

“Those who could not develop Dhamnagar in last 50 years, can never alleviate their woes in 1.5 years,” he said.

Odisha Minister and BJD leader, Pramila Mallick said, “The people of Dhamnagar love CM Naveen Patnaik and his developmental works. The voters, particularly women and youth have decided to vote BJD candidate Abanti Das.”

However, Rajendra Das, who rebelled against the BJD and filed his nomination independently is said to be the x-factor in the equation. While he has a lot of loyal voters in the constituency, he is said to deal a blow to the Conch party in the election.

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