JAGATSINGHPUR: Its a battle between the rich and poor in Jagatsinghpur and the latter, as expected are on the back foot. The wealthy candidates of the district splurged on campaigning and allegedly spent more than the limit to woo voters. However, the ones with limited means had to rely on door-to-door canvassing. A total of 38 candidates from different political parties are in fray for the four Assembly seats and one Parliamentary constituency in the district. The wealthiest of them is Congress candidate for Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat Chiranjibi Biswal, who has assets worth `33.89 crore.
BJP candidate for Balikuda-Erasama Assembly seat Damodar Rout has assets worth `1.91 crore while his rival Raghunandan Das of BJD has `66.20 lakh. BJD candidate for Tirtol Assembly segment Bishnu Charan Das has assets worth `2.81 crore while the party’s nominee for Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat has `4.10 crore. Satyabrata Mohapatra, who has been fielded by the BJP from Jagatsinghpur Assembly segment possesses assets worth `1.86 crore while BJD nominee for Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat has assets worth `6.68 crore.
In contrast, Nrusingh Barik, who is contesting from Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat as a Indian Citizen Party candidate earns around `5,000 per month. “Since my party has not provided financial support to its candidates, I am relying on door-to-door campaign,” he said, adding posters, banners and leaflets remain a distant dream for candidates like him.
Another Indian Citizen Party Birabar Dalai, who is contesting from Balikuda Erasama Assembly seat said he has not started campaigning as his party does not have adequate means to support its candidates.
Parina Bibi, who is contesting on a Bahujan Samaj Party ticket from Jagatsinghpur Assembly seat said limited resources makes it tough to contest against crorepati candidates and visiting voters at their doorsteps remains the only option for those who cannot afford to splurge on innovative means of campaigning.