Dhamnagar bypoll: Kali Puja traders stranded as netas camp in hotels

Poll campaigners are residing in Bhadrak town for Dhamnagar bypoll

Published: 19th October 2022 06:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th October 2022 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

BHADRAK: Businessmen heading to Bhadrak for the upcoming Kali Puja festival are finding themselves stranded as most of the hotels in the town have been booked by political parties for their leaders camping for Dhamnagar bypoll.

Hundreds of leaders including Union Ministers, State Ministers, MPs, MLAs and workers of the three major parties are residing in hotels in Bhadrak town for the high-voltage by-election scheduled on November 3. Besides, the hotels in Basudevpur and Chandabali have also been booked by BJD, BJP and Congress for their campaigners.

Sujit Sen, a trader from Medinipur in West Bengal, said, “I have been coming to Bhadrak for Kali Puja festival since 2002. This year, we are facing accommodation problems for our workers as all the rooms have been booked.”

Sources said the BJD has booked rooms in five major hotels in Bhadrak town. Besides, at least 50 rooms have been reserved in other small hotels and lodges by the ruling party. Similarly, the BJP has reserved nearly seven hotels and a number of guesthouses for its star campaigners in the district headquarters town and Chandabali. 

The Congress, which has so far maintained a low-profile in electioneering, has also made arrangements in a number of big hotels for their campaigners. At least 40 star campaigners each from BJD and BJP have already arrived in Bhadrak town. As many as 30 campaigners of Congress will arrive in a phased manner.

Meanwhile, traders in large numbers have started arriving in Bhadrak with only six days remaining for the Kali Puja. But in absence of accommodation facilities, traders from other states are being forced to take private houses on rent at exorbitant prices. Opera parties, which are a big hit during the festival, are also finding it difficult to find rooms for their artistes.

Member of High School Puja Committee at Charampa Bradaprasanna Panda said, “We are trying to make arrangements to accommodate the businessmen. While a few Kalyan Mandaps have been arranged for the opera parties, private residential buildings will be booked for the traders.

The week-long Kali Puja festival in Bhadrak is a major attraction in North Odisha. Hundreds of businessmen from West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh besides Cuttack, Ganjam, Puri and Balasore in the State set up temporary stalls at the Puja grounds to sell various items including handlooms and handicrafts.


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