DHENKANAL: Security remains a concern for Dhenkanal administration in the wake of the ensuing three-tier panchayat elections. Of the total 2,881 booths, 434 are sensitive. Strong rooms for storing the ballot papers will be opened in every block and these would be under CCTV surveillance. Also, CCTVs will be installed in all the booths. Sources said schools have been designated as booths but as a majority of them are without power, operation of CCTVs may not be feasible.
In Parjang and Kankadahada blocks under Parjang Assembly constituency, there is a direct fight between the BJD and the BJP. The BJD campaign is led by its MLA Nrusingha Sahoo. There are a majority of sensitive booths in these two blocks. BJP district president Bibhuti Pradhan, who lost by a small margin in the last Assembly election, is now backed by former Rajya Sabha member Rudra Narayan Pany. The place is being frequented by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who happens to be the cousin of the BJP district president.
This time, the Union Minister is likely to take part in campaigning in the four Assembly constituencies in the district. Sources said candidates are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters in Odapada, Parjang and Kankadahada blocks. SP Basant Kumar Panigrahi said necessary security measures are being taken for the election.
People deprived of basics, says BJP
Political parties are pulling out all stops to woo the voters in Dhenkanal. Apart from campaigns, meetings are being organised at grassroots level by the political parties almost everyday.
Senior leaders of the Congress, the BJP and the BJD are campaigning for their respective candidates. Apart from this, supporters of candidates are also hosting dinners for voters in groups in different locations.
Two days back, BJP State president Basant Panda addressed public gatherings at Kamakshyanagar sub-division and highlighted the achievements of the NDA Government. He said the welfare schemes undertaken by the Centre are yet to percolate to the grassroots level because of the BJD’s apathy. People are deprived of basic facilities in rural areas, he added. The district administration is maintaining a vigil on poll campaigns to detect violations of model code of conduct, said District Panchayat Officer Niranjan Mishra.
Official sources said District Congress Committee president and former MLA Sudhir Kumar Samal has lodged a complaint that there is rampant illegal sale of liquor in Odapada and Parjang blocks and urged the administration to intervene immediately.