BALASORE: Against the backdrop of growing violence against women, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik toured the district attending nearly eight meetings trying to project the BJD in better light. Naveen campaigned for his party candidates at Jaleswar, Bhograi, Remuna, Soro, Khaira, Bahanaga and Nilagiri on Sunday and Monday. His speeches were almost identical at all the meetings with the BJD supremo highlighting the developmental projects undertaken by the Government.
Naveen, in humility, attributed the success of his Government to the people of the State. “The people of the rural Odisha are the charioteer of the State’s progress. It is for their support, the Government and the State are on the path to progress,” he said. He highlighted the programmes undertaken by his Government for uplift of the poor and the downtrodden, women and students, besides developmental works in the rural areas. The Government, he said, chalked out many development and poverty alleviation programmes in rural areas out of its own resources.
In a bid to assuage the women voters even as three rape and murder cases continue to haunt his Government, Naveen spoke about the 50 per cent reservation at the panchayat level. BJD district president Ananta Das said Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra is slated to attend a couple of meetings in the district in the coming days. The Congress and the BJP are not far behind. While State’s former BJP president Suresh Pujari campaigned in several villages of Nilagiri, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik toured northern region of the district.
Altogether 224 candidates are in the fray for 45 Zilla Parishad zones in the district while 928, 1,002 and 8,691 candidates are contesting for the posts of Panchayat Samiti (PS) member, Sarpanch and ward member respectively.