Naveen Hits Campaign Trail in the Millennium City
By Express News Service | Published: 01st February 2014 10:51 AM |
Even as campaigning for Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) polls heats up, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday hit the lanes of the millennium city to canvass for his party candidates.
Embarking on his first-leg of campaigning in the CMC polls, the BJD supremo toured different wards under the Cuttack Sadar and Cuttack-Choudwar Assembly constituencies. The campaigning commenced from Phul Nakhara covering ward nos-59, 58, 57 and 56.
Thousands of people came out on the roads to witness the roadshow along with offering garlands and flowers to him as his car passed by the villages along the roads in the wards. By evening, he had covered around 30 wards under both the constituencies.
He proceeded through the lanes and bylanes in the millennium city covering Press Chhak, Nuapada, Sikharpur, Mahanadi Vihar, Rajendra Nagar, OMP Square and Chauliaganj. At Sikharpur, he briefly addressed the people seeking their support for the party candidates in the ensuing elections. He is scheduled to resume campaigning in the rest of the wards on Saturday.
The Chief Minister’s visit is seen as a great booster for the ruling party’s prospects in the February 6 polls as it seeks to not only retain its council, but also better the 2009 performance. The BJD had won 37 of the 54 wards. The Congress and the BJP had managed to win only eight and two wards, respectively. The corporation has undergone a ward reorganisation this year adding five new wards.
According to BJD sources, while a total decimation of opponents on the lines of the recently-concluded Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls by bagging more than 50 is the target, a lot is also at stake for the sitting MLAs from the city. The BJD’s performance in the CMC polls will have a bearing on the prospects of renomination of MLAs Debasis Samantray and Pravat Biswal from the Assembly constituencies of Cuttack-Barabati and Choudwar-Cuttack. Cuttack-Barabati accounts for 31 wards, Choudwar-Cuttack 22 and the rest six fall under Cuttack Sadar represented by Kalindi Behera.
On the other hand, the Congress and the BJP have also intensified their campaigns banking on the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling BJD. Hopeful of making a dent in the elections, they have roped in key leaders for campaigning.
Former BJP president Jual Oram on Friday campaigned in the city while PCC president Jayadev Jena is slated to join campaigning soon.