BERHAMPUR: Even as the hustle and bustle of campaigning ended on Tuesday, the Berhampur railway station witnessed hectic activity with migrant workers from across Kandhamal district returning home to cast their votes.
The rural areas of the district, from where a large number of people have migrated to other States, too have come alive. These workers had shifted to places like Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in search of jobs.
Though the number of migrant workers in the district is nowhere as compared to Ganjam and Nayagarh, their votes can make a difference, particularly in Kandhamal Parliamentary constituency and G Udayagiri Assembly segment.
While around 3,000 youths from Daringibadi have shifted their occupational base to southern States, their parents and kids are staying in their native villages. The youths make the decision on whom to vote for in their families.
Lack of employment opportunities and poor state of agriculture sector in the remote areas of Kandhamal continue to trigger exodus of human resources almost on a daily basis.
With leading parties, BJD, BJP and Congress locked in a tough triangular fight almost in all the seven Assembly and the Parliamentary constituencies, votes of these migrant workers matter a lot.
Raghuram Pradhan (38) of Gadapur village said he is unsure whom to vote for. He said around 150 other migrant workers from Daringibadi block returned home on the day. Raghu said over 1,000 such workers had returned homes earlier to participate in Chaitra Danda Nacha. “Some more workers from Chennai and Hyderabad are scheduled to reach tonight,” he said.
The Kandhamal Parliamentary constituency and its Assembly segments will go to polls in the second phase on Thursday.