Jagatsinghpur: Barring few stray incidents occurring in different places across the State, the first phase campaigning of the Panchayat elections for 6 Zilla Parishads, 50 Sarpanchs and 50 Samiti members including ward members in Jagatsinghpur came to an end on Thursday.

Acting on the directive of the State Election Commission [SEC], it is for the first time the candidates for the post of Sarpanch, Samiti Member and Ward members are going to be fought without any association with political parties and its affiliation. So the political parties are putting more emphasis and concentrating in ZP polls to show their party strength as the SEC exempts ZP aspirants from utilizing party’s association. 

In the first phase of Panchayat polls in the district, 2 ZP constituencies of Biridi block and 4 ZP zones of Jagatsinghpur block will be held on Saturday. However evaluating from campaign trail for these ZP seats, the election battle would be fought between State ruling BJD and its arch rival Congress in all seats. Moreover other contesting candidates from several political parties and independents are struggling hard.

Reiterating past ZP elections held in the year 2007, Congress and BJD had shared one seat each in 2 ZP seats in Biridi block, but captured 2 seats each in 4 ZP constituencies spread in Jagatsinghpur block. The last election results indicate that both the BJD and Congress were in identical stage and had taken into custody 3 ZP seats each out of 6 ZP Zones in Biridi and Jagatsinghpur blocks. 

The Congress had won Zone 1 and BJD had showed its victory in Zone 3 for the 2 ZP seats in Biridi block. So Congress had earned victory in Zone 2 and Zone 4 and BJD had captured Zone 1 and Zone 3 in 4 ZP constituencies in Jagatsinghpur block.

In the upcoming ZP elections the Congress had filed 4 new candidates and renewed two old ZP members including outgoing ZP President Natabar Barik in Zone 3 and Sricharan Rout in Zone 1 in the election fray. On the
other hand BJD had given party tickets to all new aspirants. Interestingly both the parties have given party tickets to 3 new women faces each, who are contesting elections in women reserved ZP seats for the first time. 

From BJD local MLA Bishnu Das was instrumental giving party tickets to the contesting candidates, while Tirtol MLA Ravi Bhoi had endorsed his political mentor MLA Bishnu Das’s selection. On the other hand Congress leader Chiranjeev Biswal likely had played a crucial role in selecting aspirants for these 6 ZP seats. So political observers
indicate that the election results will certainly show the political supports and strengths of both the leaders as because they were leading the election campaigning. 

Moreover in the campaign trail BJD had utilized State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for poll campaigning who had addressed an election public meeting at Nuapola and asked voters to cast votes in favour BJD aspirant
ZP candidates establishing State Governments manifolds pro poorer developmental works. Later MLA Bishnu Das had organized road shows. Apart from this it was noticed that from the past one week aspirants contestants are making door to door campaign to impress voters.

Congress on the other hand has failed to enforce its star campaigners. No public meeting was organized any where. Sources indicate that BJD is the fore front runner in election campaigning.

Taking past elections voting ratio of both the Congress and BJD, it shows that BJD is dwindling its vote percentage. In the 2002 ZP elections BJD had gained 52 percent votes that reduced 42.85 percent in 2007 elections. The Congress had acquired 44.12 percent in last ZP elections held in the year 2007 and had captured the Zilla Parishad.