Umerkote waits to decide new MLA

Umerkote: As the zero-hour enters with camapaigning coming to a close today the tribal dominated assembly constituency with over one lakh and 65 thousand voters eagerly awaits to elect a new MLA, an election necessitated due to the killing of BJD leader Jagabandhu Majhi. Several heavy weights like Chhatisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and Jagdish Tytler joined the poll campaigning respectively for BJP and Congress. While the ruling BJD is leaving no tricks in the books to retain the seat, for both the Congress and the BJP it is a battle of prestige. The BJP which has repeated its candidate was in the second position in the last election.

On the last day of campaigning, all the three major players, the BJD, BJP and the Congress upped the ante and stressed too on door to door campaign to get closer to the voters. The Chhatisgarh chief minister Raman Singh addressed two public metings, one each at Umerkote and Raighar. The BJP strongman made scathing attacks both on the Naveen government and the UPA government at the Centre.

On the other hand, Odisha in-charge Jagdish Tytler was the star campaigner for the Congress. In the company of PCC chief Niranjan Pattanaik and several other leaders, Jagdish Tytler addressed sevral metings and mostly targetted the BJD in his speeches. He too joined in door to door campaigns for his candidate Jitendra Gond.

Rajya Sabha member and senior leader of the party Pyari Mohan Mohapatra is in over all charge of the BJD campaign in Umerkote. The party president and chief minister Naveen Pattanaik could visit the constituency once due to an ankle injury. Pyari babu and his team of MLAs along with filmstar turned politician and Berhampur Lok Sabha MP Siddhant toured several villages. The leaders main thrust was on establishing direct contact with the voters. Over one dozen MLAs, ministers and MPs have been camping here to campaign for BJD candidate Subhas Gond and leave no chances for the opponents and to retain the seat.

All the hotels in Umerkote including Nawarangpur have been occupied by the leaders of the major political parties and hundreds of workers. Interestingly, some leaders have even taken houses on rent for poll campaigninbg.

Umerkote goes to the polls on Wednesday next and polling will comence from eight in the morning to close at four in the evening. The election commission has declared 67 booths out of a total of 162 boots as sensitive and heavy police bandobust is in place for smooth conduct of election. The result will be announced on December 4.