Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: After the recently concluded general polls, all eyes are now on the Patkura Assembly election, which was countermanded following the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwalla and later postponed in view of cyclone Fani.

With the Election Commission of India(ECI) issuing a directive for completion of the election within 60 days from the date of postponement i.e on May 6, all parties have begun their preparations for the last showdown as the dates for the poll may be declared any moment.

A few days back, the District Election Officer of Kendrapara had notified the ECI about conducting the poll in the segment.

While Patkura poll is set to be a battle of prestige for both the BJD and BJP respectively, Congress too is eyeing to pull off a surprise in the upcoming election. The saffron party has nominated veteran BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra as its candidate for Patkura seat, Sabitri Agarwalla, wife of late BJD candidate Bed Prakash is aiming for a clean sweep. Similarly, Jayant Mohanty from Congress is also in fray for the election.

BJD, which has secured 112 seats to claim majority in Odisha is also looking to add another seat to its tally. A meeting regarding this was held at Naveen Niwas today in which the party chief allotted various responsibilities to different leaders.

While minister Arun Sahu and Sanjay Das Burma have been given charge of Derabish block, minister Ranendra Pratap Swain and Prafulla Mallick will be in-charge of Garadapur. Similarly, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak will oversee affairs in seven panchayats of Marshaghai and Pratap Deb will be the coordinator in Derabish.

Kendrapara MLA Sashi Bhusan Behera has exuded confidence that BJD will come out with flying colours in Patkura polls.

“Last time also Bijoy Mohapatra fought the elections and the ratio of BJD winning and losing candidates in Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency was 3:2 but this time we have already bagged all the four seats and are confident to clean sweep,” said Behera.

The BJP has also prepared its strategy for the much-awaited election to the Assembly seat, discussions for which was held during party’s core committee meeting today. According to sources, party has decided to employ heavyweight leaders, newly elected MPs and MLAs in different posts to ensure best preparations for the poll.

Senior BJP leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said, “Our party is fighting against a party which is using all its resources and government machinery to win the election by hook or by crook. But we too are confident that our strategy to win the election will be successful.”

Congress which is also strategizing a blueprint to win the election is likely to engage its leaders in Patkura. OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said, “Both the BJD and BJP are in power so our party should not be compared to them. We will do what we can to win the election.”