Pradeep Pattanayak

With the understanding that voters in 18-40 age group prefer young leaders over elder ones, some senior and seasoned politicians of the ruling dispensation and Opposition parties in the State have entrusted their sons with the task of ensuring victory for the party candidates in the forthcoming Panchayat elections. 

And the young cubs are going the extra mile to not let down their aging fathers. 

These days Biplab Patro, son of Speaker Surya Narayan Patro, is busy preparing a blue print to ensure the victory of all BJD candidates contesting from his father’s Assembly constituency: Digapahandi and Rangeilunda Blocks. A confident junior Patro said his party will register victory in 67 out of 69 Zilla Parishad zones in Ganjam district. “I am referring to 67 ZP seats because I have information that we are likely to face contest in the rest two seats. But, we are hopeful that we will pip the Oppositions at the post in those two seats as well,” Patro claimed. 

Like Biplab, Parjang MLA (BJD) Dr Nrusingha Sahu’s son Asit Raychoudhury can also be seen putting his heart into guarding his father’s citadel. He is dividing his time between his father’s constituency and Kankadahada Block. At some point of time, he is seen campaigning for the party candidates, at some other, he is seen busy at preparing strategies. “We are not taking the Oppositions into count. We are fighting the elections on the strength of what we have done for the people. They are also extending their support to our candidates,” observed Raychoudhury. 

Prayaskanti Samal and Pranatikanti Samal are the young leaders who have taken the responsibilities off their father and Bhandaripokhari MLA Prafulla Samal. “People’s love for our father is intact. Because of Covid-19 situation, he has curtailed his movement. But his directions count a lot for us. Whenever we have any problem or confusion, we turn to him,” Prayaskanti said.

BJD’s senior leader Ananga Udaya Singh Deo’s son Arkesh Narayan Singh Deo is putting his heart and soul into the elections. He is sweating it out day in day out to make sure of their candidates’ victory. “As all of us know, the daily cases of Covid-19 are on the rise. We are concerned about his (Ananga Udaya Singh Deo) health. He may appear during the last ten days to the election,” said Arkesh. 

Similarly, Nihar Behera, son of former Minister Jogendra Behera, is not behind either. “We are going to ex-Ministers, ex-MLAs, ex-MPs, members of Biju Yuva Janata Dal and Biju Mahila Janata Dal to seek their suggestions. My father has assured me of extending all supports in managing the show,” Behera said. 

Bolangir MLA and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra’s son Samarendra Mishra also needs mention. He is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the win of the candidates contesting on Congress tickets. “Bolangir has seen a sea-change after my father’s victory from the Assembly constituency. No election can be fought without mentioning about development,” maintained Samarendra. 

Giving responsibilities to their sons, the seniors are not only safeguarding their fortresses but also giving the next generation the much needed opportunity to hone skills to walk in the slippery path of electoral politics in the hinterlands of Odisha.


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