Umerkote generates political heat

Umerkote: With barely four days left for polling for the by-election to the reserved assembly constituency needed due to the untimely killing of Jagabandhu Majhi all political roads in the state lead to the underdeveloped part of south Odisha. The captains of all the three major political parties, Naveen Pattanaik of the BJD, Niranjan Pattanaik of Congress and Jual Oram of BJP have jumped to campaigning for their candidates.

Chief minister and BJD supremo who injured his right ankle about four days back and since then holding his office at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar today addressed two public meetings, one at Umerkote and the other one at Raighar and urged the voters to cast their ballots in favour of BJD candidate Subhas Gond. At both the meetings Naveen made scathing attacks on both the Congress and the BJP. Naveen`s man Friday and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra and a host of party leaders were present during the high voltage campaigning. Several cabinet ministers and MLAs have ben camping at Umerkote for the last four days.

Both Congress and BJP did not lack either. State Congress chief Niranjan Pattanaik is present at Umerkote and personally drawing strategy for his candidate since it is te first election being held in the state after he took over the mantle from K P Singh Deo. Accusations and counter accusations fly thick and fast in the constituency among all the major political parties. The Congress leaders have been highlighting several scams that have taken place during the BJD rule in the state and the inefficiency of the government in spending the grants provided by the centre.

The BJP chief Jual Oram on the other hand today stressed on door to door campaign in the constituency. The BJP candidate was at the second spot in the last election and the party is hopeful of snatching away the seat from the BJD. With all the three parties putting up tribal Gond candidates in the fray, the Bengali settlers in Raighar belt are expected to play the deciding role in the outcome of the election.