Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD, with 12 Ministers and more than 50 MLAs led by party strategist and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra, appears to be leading in the poll campaign.
Apart from the tribals, the party is trying to woo the Bengali voters who form a sizeable portion of the total electorate.The constituency has 24,639 voters spread across 43 villages. The BJD RS member Mr. Mohapatra was seen addressing public rallies in Bengali-dominated areas in their language to woo their support for the party candidate Subhas Gand.
BJD President and Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to address a couple of meetings at Raighar and Umerkote on Friday.
Leaving no stone unturned, the BJP headed by the sSate President Jual Oram is going all-out to win the seat to take revenge of its humiliation in the hands of the BJD in 2009.
The three major political parties – the BJD, the BJP and the Congress are locked in an interesting triangular contest in Umerkote assembly segment where by-election will be held on November 30. The by-poll, which comes just two months before the crucial panchayat polls, has become a “do-or-die” battle for the three parties as its results, as they think, would have direct bearing on the minds of the voters.
The BJD had “unilaterally” snapped its decade-long alliance with the BJP as the two parties differed on seat-sharing issue for the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections. The BJP has invited a dozen of BJP leaders from the neighbouring Chhattishgarh and Jharkhand with a hope that their affinity with the local community would benefit the party.
The BJP candidate Dharmu Gand, who won the seat in 2004, hopes to regain the seat this time.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik along with a host of senior party leaders also launched a hectic campaigning in the area. Surprisingly, no top Congress leader from the Centre, including the AICC General Secretary in-Charge of Odisha, Mr. Jagdish Tytler, was seen taking part in the campaign.
By-polls to the seat was a necessity following assassination of BJD legislator Jagabandh Majhi on September 24 by three unidentified persons.