Man kills self over political differences with dad

Kendrapara: A day ahead of the first phase of panchayat polls, a youth ended his life allegedly due to political differences with his father in a village of Kendrapara district.

Police said the incident happened in Kora village near here on Friday bringing under sharp focus a disturbing trend in this politically-sensitive coastal district.

Sarat Sahu (25), a daily wage earner, was not pulling on well with his father Surendra Sahu on poll-related issues. He had asked his father to support and vote in favour of his favourite candidate, but Surendra did not relent. Dejected over it, Sarat consumed pesticide to end life, police said.

The panchayat polls has bought a sharp divide in a number of well-knit families with candidates locked in battle against their own blood. "It is disturbing to note that family ties have got severed following contest between own blood relatives. Besides members of families hold divergent support as far as casting their franchise is concerned," quipped Nabaghana Nayak, a former Panchayat samity chairman of Garadapur block.

There were stray cases of similar nature in past polls also. But this time, it has become more pronounced. While mother is fighting it out against her daughter, siblings, close relatives are locked in direct poll battle in some of the gram panchayat and panchayat samity zones.

"Mother is pitted against her own daughter for the Sarpanch seat in Purussottampur gram panchayat. In Ayeba, a woman candidate is battling against her daughter-in-law. Many of the gram panchayats going to the polls account for such instances," said Ambika Prasad Parida, a former Zilla Parishad member.