All the three major political parties, the BJD, BJP and Congress have stepped up campaigning to win the mandate of people in the forthcoming elections to Koraput municipality. However, experts believe that it will not be a cakewalk for them due to rising public angst against the political fraternity over under-development gripping the town.
As per sources, resentment has been brewing among the town residents as most development works under the civic body are stalled, delayed or mired in allegations of corruption. Various projects of the Municipality relating to sanitation, health, electricity etc are yet to be completed in the town due to various reasons.
Local residents allege that the region still languishes with problems aplenty like proper drinking water, drainage and sanitation facilities. Most of the educated urban voters have vowed not to be swayed by false promises anymore. They are looking for suitable candidates with proper and planned development agenda across party lines.
“We will not entertain any candidate from any party to buy votes using money power. We will vote for a proper candidate,” said Bimal Patnaik, a voter.
As per political analysts, it will be difficult for any party to win the election for the post of Chairman with their old strategy.
“With rise in awareness, urban voters are becoming more educated and sensitive. They will not be swayed by money and muscle power of any party, rather they will look for suitable candidates and their proper agenda for development,” said political analyst Sarat Pattnayak.
Educated voters in the area are asking the political parties to give report cards on their performances during their tenures. The situation has forced leaders of various parties to start playing blame games against each other.
“BJD is using money and muscle power to win elections which is not a good sign for democracy,” alleged Congress senior leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
Meanwhile, BJP has exuded confidence about their victory in the Chairman election of Koraput municipality.
“BJD resorted to undemocratic means to win the recently-concluded Panchayat polls. However, people of Koraput are educated and BJD’s money and muscle power will not affect them. They will vote in favour of the BJP candidate,” said senior party leader Jayaram Pangi.
On the other hand, BJD brushed aside the claims of the Opposition parties.
“BJD has the highest probability for victory as we have undertaken various development works in the town,” said party leader Iswar Panigrahi.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)