BALANGIR: Candidates in the fray for Balangir Lok Sabha constituency have roped in their family members for campaigning. With elections just a few days away, they are counting on their kin to reach out to voters in different areas.
Senior BJD leader AU Singhdeo has launched door to door campaigning to seek votes for his younger son Arkesh Narayan Singhdeo who is MLA candidate of the ruling party in Balangir. Joining the senior Singhdeo is his daughter-in-law and Arkesh’s wife Adrija.
Winning the seat has become a prestige issue for the former Rajya Sabha member who had announced not to contest the election this time. In 2014, AU had lost the Balangir seat to Narasingh Mishra of Congress. His elder son Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo, sitting Balangir Lok Sabha member, is the BJD nominee for the seat this time too. Meghna, Kalikesh’s wife, has started visiting various segments of the Parliamentary constituency canvassing for his third Parliamentary election this time.
The royal siblings Arkesh and Kalikesh are using development as a poll plank to win over voters.
Actress Bidhusmita Mantri is campaigning for her husband Ananta Dash who is the BJP candidate for Balangir Assembly seat. Since her husband comes from a humble background, she tells villagers, he can understand the plight of common poor unlike the royals.
Similarly, Leader of Opposition Narasingha is throwing his weight behind son and Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha seat Samarendra Mishra. Narasingha is also contesting from Balangir Assembly seat. At his public meetings, the Leader of Opposition is urging people to vote for him as MLA and his son as MP candidate.