JATNI: With around 48 hours left for polling, Jatni has turned into an electoral battleground with candidates of political parties leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters. It is likely to be a triangular fight in the Assembly segment where Suresh Routray of Congress is pitted against BJD candidate Bibhuti Balabantaray and BJP’s Biswaranjan Badajena. Suresh, the father-in-law of former OPCC chief Prasad Harichandan, is appealing the residents of the town to vote for him saying this will be his last electoral battle. He had lost the seat as a Congress nominee in the 2014 polls to BJD’s Bhagirathi Badajena by a margin of 5,747 votes.
Balabantaray is banking on Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik’s image and the party’s welfare schemes. Badajena, like his counterparts in other constituencies, is banking on the Modi wave and the failure of the BJD Government in the last 19 years of its rule in Odisha. He had switched from BJD to BJP and despite dissidence within the party, is relying on his support base in the area.
While the ruling party nominee is highlighting the development works undertaken in the constituency like construction of an over bridge, drinking water projects and others, the long standing demand of thousands of people to have mutation and other revenue rights of the land, which they had purchased from Sri Jagannath Temple Administration, remains unfulfilled. Both Congress and BJP have promised to resolve all the people’s issues.
The Jatni Assembly segment which comes under Bhubaneswar Parliamentary constituency has 2,37,618 voters. Satyapriya Mohanty was the first MLA of constituency after it was formed in 1974. The constituency includes 13 gram panchayats of Jatni block and Jatni NAC with nine panchayats of Bhubaneswar and three of Khurda block.