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Pradeep Pattanayak

As many as 10 candidates are in the fray for the coveted post of Bargarh Municipal Council’s chairperson post. But the election to the post is a three-cornered race between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. This year, the chairperson post is reserved for women. 

With the election date is inching closer, Kalpana Majhi of BJD, Anuradha Agrawal of BJP and Tapaswini Behera of Congress are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters. 

But the voters have the town’s deplorable drainage system and pathetic state of garbage lifting as their poll issues. 

 A mere visit to Keshab Nagar under Ward no-1willl enough to get the feel of how the seriousness of the issues. Piles of garbage and clogged, broken and uncovered drains will welcome a visitor. 

Most of the wards in the Bargarh town offer the same sorry state of affairs. 

There are several ponds in the town that have never been resurrected even for once in past few years. These are the ponds that have maligned the city’s reputation. 

Drinking water problem, pathetic road condition, beneficiaries being excluded from Awas Yojana are the other factors that are also going to play decisive roles in the upcoming election. 

Most importantly, resentment is also brewing among the town residents over the bridge across Jeera river lying half constructed for a long period. 

“In our locality, we experience difficulties in getting our daily quota of clean drinking water. Due to lack of drain facility, water keeps flowing on road, leading to quarrels between us. We will vote them who will take steps to solve our problems,” said town residents Purtima Sahu and Sarita Bag. 

As many as 68 councillor candidates for 19 wards under Bargarh Municipal Council are in the poll arena and have already intensified their campaigning. But the chairperson candidates are in spotlight. 

Apart from Kalpana Majhi, Anuradha Agrawal and Tapaswini Behera, Debika Deheri, an APP candidate, is also in the race to the Chairperson post. 

While Naveen Patnaik’s popularity and the government pro-people schemes and yojanas have been providing shots in the arms for the BJD camp, the BJP and Congress parties are trying to woo voters by promising them of solving their basic problems. 

“When we are presently doing rounds the town, we feel sad to see the sufferings of people due to lack of drinking water and road facilities,” said BJP’s chairpersons candidate Anuradha Agrawal. 

Tapaswini Behera of Congress said, “I am in politics to serve people. And I will continue to do that.”

The BJD’s chairperson candidate Kalpana Majhi said she would try her level best to address the issues. “If I am voted to power, I will take steps to end drainage and drinkning water problem,” said Majhi. 

Notably, the Bargarh Municipality has been the bastion of the ruling BJD for last 15 years. It is to be seen whether the conch party will be able to repeat the story this time as well.

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