Congress factions join hands for Odisha panchayat polls

Electioneering by Congress has picked up momentum lately with major factions in the party joining hands to project a united front.

Published: 05th February 2017 09:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2017 09:30 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESHWAR: Even as campaign by BJD and BJP for the panchayat polls have turned aggressive which ended in violence at some places, electioneering by Congress has picked up momentum lately with major factions in the party joining hands to project a united front.
President of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan and Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra jointly campaigned for the party candidates at Chhendipada in Angul district
during the week giving an indication that senior leaders have closed ranks.
Sources said there will be several more such initiatives during the five-phase panchayat polls. Congress today organised a massive public meeting in Sukinda area of Jajpur district which is considered to be a strong base of the BJD. Harichandan and former minister Sarat Rout campaigned for the party candidates in the area.
Though BJD continues to be in a dominant position, political observers are of the opinion that the Congress candidates are slowly making their presence felt.
Meanwhile, leaders from the opposition political parties in the State continued to join BJD even as there are only eight days left for the first phase panchayat polls on February 13. Former Gunupur MLA and BJP leader Rammurty Gamang and his supporters joined BJD in the presence of party MP from Koraput Jhina Hikaka and Rajya Sabha member Bhaskar Rao.
The proposed visit of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to Western Odisha district to campaign for BJP candidates continued to evoke protest from other political parties including BJD, Congress and Samajwadi Party.
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister will campaign for the BJP candidates in Bolangir, Jharsuguga and Sundargarh districts on February 9 and 11 respectively for the first phase polls beginning on February 13. BJP sources maintained that campaign schedule of Singh for the next phases of the polls will be finalised subsequently.
Youth wing activists of the Samajwadi Party today demonstrated here against the proposed visit of Singh to Odisha in the panchayat polls and burnt his effigy. The party also announced that it will oppose Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das who is scheduled to campaign for the BJP in later phases of the election.


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