The BJP State General Secretary Bhrugu Baxipatra is testing electoral waters as a Lok Sabha candidate for Berhampur seat for the first time. Considered an outsider, he is pitted against a veteran like former MP and Union Minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu.
With a stiff task on hand, an undeterred Bhrugu is confident of turning the tide in BJP’s favour. He speaks to Sisir Panigrahy in the midst of his campaign.
Q: Is the constituency not completely new to you? How are you approaching the voters?
A: Absolutely not. We hail from Digapahandi and have several relatives in various parts of the district. Since I often visit them, how come the area is new? Though I spent a good amount of time outside of Ganjam, during the last five years, I visited most places of the parliamentary constituency. I request the voters to vote for me to strengthen the hands Prime Minister Narendra Modiji.
Q: Do you think Modi wave can enable you to win the polls?
A: Yes. Besides the wave, people are fed up with the BJD rule. During the last 19 years, BJD blocked development of the State for its own vested interest. It hijacked all development schemes of the Centre and to cover its fault, it is blaming the Union Govt which stood firmly for the people of Odisha whenever the need arose.
For instance, after Titli cyclone hit the State, restoration work was done under Central Government sponsored schemes - be it roads or the power supply. The machinery and man-power utilised to restore the power supply within a fortnight was provided under the NDA Government schemes. Else, the Odisha Government would have taken six months to complete the work.
Q: Do you think there is a voters tilt towards BJP and anti-incumbency against BJD?
A: Not just a tilt, the voters are fully into BJP. The great work by Modiji in the last five years has secured a special space in the heart of the people whereas the BJD Government has failed miserably. From law and order to corruption, misrule has reached its nadir in the State during BJD regime. It is also riddled with scams - particularly the chit fund scam - which the people have realised. Now the public will dethrone the BJD.
Q: What is your agenda for development of Berhampur if you win the elections ?
A: A major emphasis would be to streamline drinking water supply for the area. I also want Rangeilunda airstrip to be converted into an aerodrome besides taking up construction of multi-purpose projects left unattended by BJD.