MALKANGIRI: Given the perceived ‘Modi wave’ and strong anti-incumbency factor in Chitrakonda Assembly constituency, it will not be a cakewalk for the ruling BJD to retain the seat this time.
Identified as a Maoist hotbed, Chitrakonda had been a Congress bastion for long until BJD’s Dambru Sisa won from the seat in 2014 elections. Dambru defeated Congress candidate Sunadhar Kakari by a margin of 25,270 votes. While the BJD candidate had polled 48,000 votes, Sunadhar secured 23,270 in the last polls.
But now, the political scenario has undergone a drastic change. The ruling BJD has replaced Dambru with Purna Chandra Baka, a former head clerk in the Collector’s office.
Sources said there will be a direct fight between Purna and BJP’s Padu Majhi, who is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and promise to implement a model of the BJP Government at the Centre in State.
The BJD, on the other hand, is seeking votes in the name of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and highlighting the achievements and feats of the State Government in the last 19 years. “We are seeking votes on the basis of the achievements of BJD Government led by Naveen Patnaik, including the Gurupriya Bridge which will transform the region. The bridge has linked Swabhiman Anchal with the mainland after almost six decades,” said Purna.
On the other hand, Congress candidate Laxmipriya Nayak, who is also niece of Purna, has also intensified her campaign to woo voters. She is seeking votes by claiming that only Congress can accelerate progress and development in the region. As many as six candidates are in the fray for Chitrakonda, which is a reserved constituency.
Sanatan Kawasi (BSP), Ghenu Muduli (Samata Kranti Dal) and Balaraju Kope (Independent) are also contesting the polls from the seat. The constituency comprises four blocks of Korukonda, Khairput, Chitrakonda and Mathili as well as Balimela NAC. As many as 1,83,891 voters would exercise their franchise at 243 polling booths in the constituency, of which 75 are hyper-sensitive and 32 are sensitive.