Panchayat ticket hopefuls rush to Bhubaneswar as race picks up pace in Kendrapara

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA:  With the announcement of the dates for the three-tier panchayat elections, hectic lobbying has started among aspiring candidates of BJD, BJP and the Congress for securing nominations for the 32 Zilla Parishad (ZP) seats in the district. 

Ticket seekers along with supporters are making frequent trips to state capital Bhubaneswar to be in the good books of the high command of their respective parties. In the last panchayat polls, the BJD had won 22 ZP seats while BJP candidates were elected from 10 seats. Congress failed to win a single ZP seat.   

The ruling BJD is unarguably ahead of all the political parties and it seems to be gaining in both strength and momentum as the polling date draws near. Many aspirants are knocking on the doors of senior BJD leaders and MLAs to get the party tickets. Sources said around 200 persons are vying for BJD tickets to contest in the ZP polls.

Former MLA and BJD’s Kendrapara president Utkal Keshari Parida said his party will win all the 32 ZP seats in the rural polls as the state government has carried out many development works in rural areas. The Congress and BJP have no base in the district, he claimed.

However, the president of the district unit of BJP Kishore Panda said people are fed up with the BJD government’s ‘misrule’ in the state. “Our party is highlighting the government’s apathy towards the welfare of rural people. The BJD-led government is corrupt and inefficient and the voters will teach its leaders a lesson in the coming polls,” he said adding, BJP has a bright chance to win the majority of ZP seats. 

Former Rajnagar MLA and president of district Congress Ansuman Mohanty claimed that the BJD’s hold over rural voters has slackened mainly due to its anti-people policies. “BJD’s claim of a wave in its favour is imaginary. Voters will chose Congress this time,” he added.

At least 11,47,330 voters will elect sarpanchs and samiti members of 249 gram panchayats, 32 ZP members and 3,698 ward members in the rural polls which will be held in five phases from February 16.

Nomination filing in Nabarangpur from January 17
Umerkote: The first phase of the three-tier panchayat elections will be held in Nabarangpur’s Jharigaon and Chandahandi blocks on February 16. Collector Kamal Lochan Mishra on Thursday informed that the second round of voting will be held in Tentulikhunti and Nandahandi blocks on February 18.

Similarly, the third phase of voting will be held in Kosagumuda and Nabarangpur on February 20 and the fourth in Papadahandi and Dabugaon on February 22. The fifth and final phase of the election will be held on in Raighar and Umerkote on February 24.

Candidates can file their nomination papers from January 17 to 21 from 11 am to 3 pm. Nominations will be scrutinised on January 22 and the list of eligible candidates published the next day. Candidates can withdraw their nomination by 3 pm on January 25.

The elections will be conducted in strict adherence to Covid guidelines, Mishra added. At least, 7,88,254 voters will exercise their franchise to elect sarpanchs and samiti members of 189 gram panchayats, 26 ZP members and 2,227 ward members in the upcoming polls.


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