BARIPADA: The Baripada Assembly segment is set to witness a keen contest between the BJD and BJP.
BJD’s Sananda Marandi had won the seat in 2014. However, this time he has been replaced by Rajya Sabha MP Sarojini Hembram who is pitted against Prakash Soren of BJP and Dasarath Singh of Congress. Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik is believed to have played both the women and tribal card by fielding Sarojini from the seat. The seat is being taken seriously by both the BJD and Congress as both party’s heavyweights have campaigned for the candidates in the constituency.
While Naveen during an election meeting had slammed the Centre for neglecting Odisha, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had lambasted the BJD Government for its failure to implement the Union Government’s welfare and development projects. There are seven candidates in fray for the segment. Besides, the three major parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded Sarojini Soren while Aam Aadmi Party has nominated Biswanath Hembram for the coveted seat.
However, the contest will be between BJD and BJP and both the parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters even as a few days are left for polling in the constituency.
The seat which is reserved for ST candidates comprises Khunta, Baripada and a part of Badasahi blocks and has 1,05,460 male voters and 1,06,730 females.
A total of 258 polling booths have been set up in the segment which will go to elections in the fourth phase on April 29.