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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A triangular contest is on the cards for the forthcoming Urban Local Body elections in Odisha. 

Opposition BJP and Congress are expecting votes from people by targeting the ruling BJD over the latter’s failure in providing adequate drinking water, road connectivity, drainage and other facilities in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Berhampur municipal corporations.

On the other hand, the ruling dispensation seems to be banking on the clean image of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and developmental activities undertaken by the State Government to win the confidence of voters. However, political analysts say that BJD is all set to cash in on the infighting within Opposition BJP and Congress.

With only four days left for the campaigning to be over, all the major political parties have intensified canvassing with all the guns blazing for the upcoming polls.

In the last phase of canvassing, principal Opposition BJP is reaching out to voters with civic issues in slums slum, PMAY embezzlement of funds and misuse of various Central schemes by BJD.

“The denizens are grappling with many problems like poor road connectivity, drainage facilities, street lights and lack of dustbins. They are disappointed with the poor performance of BJD. We are confident that they will vote in favour of BJP in the coming election,” said BJP spokesperson Dilip Mallick.

Similarly, Congress is also tearing into the ruling party alleging the latter’s failure in carrying out developmental activities.

“The ruling party is not paying any attention to the problems faced by the people. The voters are looking for a change and Congress will be the right choice for them,” said Congress leader Mohammed Moquim.

On the other hand, bolstered by the success in the recently-concluded Panchayat Polls, BJD is using development issues as their trump card.

“The State government has taken up various developmental activities in urban areas and people are very much aware of those. They will elect BJP candidates once again by huge margin,” said BJD senior leader Devi Prasad Mishra.

Meanwhile, political analysts in the State are of the view that there is an underlying anti-incumbency factor in the urban areas of the State. But the Opposition parties are neutralising its effect due to infighting and poor election management.

“People always want an alternative. But infighting within the Opposition parties is putting the ruling party in an advantageous position. Even the supporters of the Opposition parties are not joining their campaignings, road shows and meetings due to infighting and poor election management. Things are looking gloomy for the Opposition parties given the current situation,” said senior political analyst Prasanna Mohanty.
 

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