Odisha Polls 2019: Focus on Kendrapara Lok Sabha battle

Bhubaneswar: It will be a high-voltage clash to gain supremacy in the Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency which is now on the radar of major political parties including BJP, BJD and the Congress. There would be a triangular fight between BJP’s national vice-president Baijayant Panda, BJD’s Anubhav Mohanty and Dharanidhar Nayak of the Congress.

Panda, who is seeking re-election from Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat as MP for the third consecutive term, is having an upper hand after veteran Bijoy Mohapatra and ex-Congress MLA from Salepur Prakash Behera joined the BJP recently. The saffron party has fielded Mohapatra and Behera as its MLA candidates from Patkura and Salepur Assembly constituencies which fall under Kendrapara Parliamentary constituency.

“Actors are good at dialogue delivery reading from script. The party which was formed on the ideologies of late Biju Patnaik has deviated from its principles. I have always been with the people in the moments of the grief and happiness,” said Panda.

The former Parliamentarian is now reaching out to the voters with development agenda. Be it the construction of 57 overhead water tank projects or 24 mini-stadiums, 15 multipurpose shelters from the MPLAD funds, Panda is trying to mobilise support by highlighting the developmental works. He is also trying to rake up the issue of injustice meted out towards him by BJD.

To counter Baijayant Panda, BJD has roped in a new face in the form of actor-turned-politician Anubhav Mohanty who doesn’t have any experience in direct elections. During ticket allotments, the ruling party could not muster courage to rope in Rajya Sabha member Pratap Deb as a candidate for the Lok Sabha and fielded him as MLA candidate from Aul Assembly constituency.

BJD’s candidate Anubhav Mohanty on the other hand is hopeful of sailing through the elections by riding on ‘brand Naveen.’

“BJD and Naveen have been winning from Kendrapara and 2019 will not be an exception,” said Mohanty.

Similarly, Congress Lok Sabha candidate Dharanidhar Nayak is trying to reach out to the voters by playing the ‘son-of-the-soil’ card.

“It will be a fight between son of the soil and outsiders,” said Nayak