KENDRAPARA: As the election dates draw nearer, ticket aspirants of all the major political parties have begun intense lobbying to secure nominations for the prestigious reserve Kendrapara Assembly seat.
Be it the BJP, BJD or Congress, the aspirants are leaving no stone unturned to tilt the balance in their favour and making rounds of capital Bhubaneswar and political nerve center New Delhi.
Congress leader and former minister Ganeswar Behera, Bijaya Mallick, Banshidhar Sethi and Damodar Mallick are in the race for Congress ticket. Ganeswar has been defeated twice in Pattamundei reserve seat. So he is facing an uphill task to get Congress ticket as the party has reportedly decided not to give ticket to two-time losers. Ganeswar, Bijaya Mallick and other Congress leaders are camping in New Delhi to lobby for party ticket.
Dalit leader and former minister Prahallad Mallick’s son Sangram Mallick and daughter Sipra Mallick are in the race to get BJD ticket.
Sangram is in active politics for more than a decade and a protege of Dalit leader and Jajpur MP Mohan Jena. Prahallad Mallick was a popular leader of Kendrapara for which many of his followers are supporting Sangram’s candidature.
‘‘I have applied before BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik to contest from Kendrapara. People will vote me as a BJD candidate,’’ Sangram exuded confidence. Nagarjun Sethi, a former president of Ravenshaw College, is also in the race to get BJD ticket. ‘‘I met BJD leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and apprised him about my candidature,’’ said Sethi.
Nagendra Behera, former chairman of zilla parishad and former vicechairman of zilla parishad Gita Sethi are in the race for BJP ticket.
CPI-ML (Liberation) has already announced to field Radhakanta Sethi, a former MLA of Pattamundei, from the seat. Orissa Communist Party has also decided to put up Nityananda Behera.
Kendrapara Assembly seat was reserved for SCs after the delimitation exercise. After the development, non-Dalit leaders of Kendrapara are eyeing nearby Patakura, Rajnagar and Mahakalapada Assembly seats.