Rashmi Ranjan

The world is unpredictable, so is politics. Electoral politics has been like a game of Snakes and Ladders across the globe with political figures witnessing many ups and downs in their career.

From holding plum government portfolios to starting again from the scratch, the politicians adapt themselves with the rules of the trade.

The examples are not far away. Back home in Odisha, several top leaders who once held key government positions are now back to the grass roots and trying their luck in the forthcoming Panchayat polls in the State.

Two-time minister and three-time MLA Anjali Behera will contest for the post of Samiti Member from Giridhara Prasad Panchayat under Hindol Block in Dhenkanal district. Recently, she abandoned BJD and joined BJP.

“I have filed my nomination as a Samiti Member so that I can work from the grass root level,” said Behera.

Similarly, former MLA from Bhadaripokari constituency in Bhadrak district Prafulla Jena and Halu Mundari, ex-MLA of Raghunathpalli constituency in Sundargarh, are contesting for Zilla Parishad member post in the three-tire Panchayat polls scheduled to be held in five phases, starting from February 16.

“I don’t know why the party has chosen me as Zilla Parishad candidate. As it is the decision of the party, I accept it,” said Prafulla Jena.

Meanwhile, highly qualified candidates are in the fray for the rural body polls. 

Sony Hembram, who is currently perusing her Master’s degree in Odia at Fakir Mohan University, will be in the fray from Sasanka Panchayat under Remuna block in Balasore district for Samiti member post.

Likewise, Manas Kumar Sahoo, a PhD scholar from Sambalpur university, will contest from ward no-18 in Bhadrak district.
“I just want to serve the people so I stepped into politics,” said Sony Hembram.

Meanwhile, the scrutiny of nomination papers began today. The first-leg of the crucial Panchayat election process in Odisha came to end with the filing of over 2.29 lakh nomination papers by the candidates by the end of the deadline on Friday. 

As per official sources, as many as 1,62,297 aspirants have filed nominations for the post of Ward member while 34,613 nominations have been filed for the post of Sarpanch.

As per the State Election Commission,  28,153 candidates have filed nomination papers for the election to Panchayat Samiti (members) and 3,999 for Zilla Parishad members' posts.

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