KENDRAPARA: With less than three days remaining for the fourth phase of General Elections, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik along with a battery of ministers and senior leaders has been camping in Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency in a last bid to keep bête noire Baijayant Panda out of the Lok Sabha when it meets again after the election results are out.
Naveen intensified his campaign in the constituency on Friday by covering Mahakalapada, Kendrapara and Patakura areas in a road show where he predicted the defeat of Baijayant without naming him and asserted that the BJD candidate from the Lok Sabha seat Anubhav Mohanty and all nominees of the regional outfit in the seven Assembly segments will win.
Significantly, the Chief Minister will make night halt here on Friday and will visit other areas in the constituency on the last day of campaigning on Saturday. While heavyweights have been fielded from the Assembly segments, several senior leaders including Chandrasekhar Sahu, Pramila Bisoyi (BJD nominees from Berhampur and Aska Lok Sabha seats), Industries Minister Niranjan Pujari, BJD candidate from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat Arup Patnaik, former minister Sharada Nayak and several other legislators are camping at different places to ensure the defeat of Baijayant. Besides, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera in Kendrapara segment, Health Minister Pratap Jena in Mahanga, former minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak in Mahakalapada and Rajya Sabha member Pratap Deb in BJD are holding the BJD fort to ensure that the split vote mentality among the voters is not reflected during polling.
The Chief Minister during his road show announced at Kharinasi, a sea side village, that all Bengali speaking landless persons will be provided pattas from the Government soon. The State Government has already given land to many Bengali speaking landless persons, he said. At least 50,000 Bengali speaking voters will decide the fate of the candidates in Mahakalapada Assembly seat.
To appease the 70,000 strong Muslim votes, Naveen said, “Odisha is a peaceful State and minority community members are safe here.” He also played the Biju card to woo the voters and said Biju Patnaik had an emotional bondage with the people of Kendrapara.