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Rashmi Ranjan

Everything is fair in love and war, so is in politics! And the upcoming Urban Local Body elections in Odisha justify the adage more than anything. 

Odisha which is all set for the much-awaited Municipal elections on March 24 will witness such fights where familial ties will matter less before political success. 

According to sources, Angul Municipality will see a father-son contest in the ensuing political battle. Bhimsen Mandothia is contesting from a BJP ticket as a councillor from ward number-5 while his son Ranjit Mandothia will fight against him for the post from BJD camp.

Bhimsen has taken up various problems of the city as his political agenda to woo voters, while Ranjit is too leaving no stones unturned to convince voters and capture the citadel. 

“I am contesting the election with my party’s ideology. Though me and my son belong to different parties, I still wish him (my son) luck in the election,” said Bhimsen.

Ranjit too has only good wishes for his father. “I am contesting against my father, but I will not utter a single word against him. My only concern is the development agenda I will put before the voters," said Ranjit. 

In another such contest, two bothers will be locking horns in the general elections to the Rairakhole Notified Area Council (NAC).  The cousin brother duo - Subas Pandey and Ranjan Padey will vie for the councillor post from ward number-11 which has been reserved for schedule caste category. Sources said, as there were no appropriate SC candidates in the segment, BJP and BJD chose to field the brother duo in the political battle.

On lining up against his brother in the election, Subas said, “I am contesting against my uncle’s brother, but it is the voters who will decide our fate."

Echoing similar opinion, Ranjan said, ”I seek voters’ support in the fight against my brother, but I have no hard feelings for him."
Apart from family clashes, the ULB elections in Odisha this time will also witness participation of greenhorns who will be trying their luck in the political arena.

A Raju, a tea stall owner at Ananda Bazaar in Bhubaneswar and Suryakant, a BTech Degree holder, will be contesting the elections from Ward number-29 and 31 respectively.

“I own a tea stall which is the only source of my earning. Even if I win the election, I will continue to sell tea to make the ends meet,” said Raju, BJD corporator candidate.

Similarly, engineer-turned Congress corporator candidate Suryakant Jena said, “During Covid time, I have seen people suffering. As politics is the only way to serve people directly, I don’t want to miss the chance."

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