Tuesday, April 8, 2014
BALANGIR: CAN CONG END ROYAL FAMILY’S DOMINANCE? Wednesday, 09 April 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
BALANGIR: CAN CONG END ROYAL FAMILY’S DOMINANCE?
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
For the first time in many years, the Balangir Assembly constituency is witnessing a battle between two heavyweight candidates, sitting MLA AU Singh Deo of the BJD and Narasingha Mishra of the Congress with Basu Pati of the BJP also being in the fray for the elections to be held on April 10.
In fact, first the name of AU Singh Deo’s personal assistant Harekrushna Sarangi had been announced as the BJD candidate for the seat. But in view of Narasingha Mishra being fielded by the Congress, Sarangi was not considered as a match for him from the BJD. So, worried over a possibility of losing the seat, BJD boss Naveen Patnaik later announced Singh Deo’s candidature though the latter had already been elected to Rajya Sabha.
For the first time in several years now, there is a voice for a change of leadership in Balangir replacing the members of the royal family represented by Singh Deo.Congress supporters are up in arms against the dominance of the Balangir palace over the local power politics at the cost of development in the area. Narasingha Mishra has stepped up his campaign mostly on this plank.
The otherwise low-profile campaigning by Singh Deo has also been beefed up with all his family members campaigning for him. The BJD’s major plank is development and implementation of the Lower Suktel Irrigation Project, establishment of a medical college and construction of the proposed Khordha-Balangir railway line.
However, both the Congress and the BJD are claiming credit for the announcement of setting up of a medical college in Balangir.
BJP candidate Basu Pati’s main plank is to boost a process of development in Balangir which has slowed down in recent years. Narendra Modi in his recent election meeting at Balangir called upon people to remove the “Nokamma” Naveen Patnaik Government. A kind of Modi wave in the rural pockets of the constituency has enthused the BJP candidate and workers.
Besides, there are also candidates from other parties like the AAP and Independents are in the fray.This Assembly segment is spread over Balangir town and Balangir and Degoan blocks. Political observer feel that the candidate who would poll more votes in the urban areas would be ahead of others as in the rural areas all the three candidates have their respective pockets of influence.