Odisha: Sulakhyana Gitanjali Devi up for Sanakhemundi fight

Her candidacy announcement has garnered widespread support, with thousands of admirers and BJD workers expressing their delight
Sulakhyana Gitanjali Devi
Sulakhyana Gitanjali DeviPhoto | Express

BERHAMPUR: Sulakhyana Gitanjali Devi, the scion of the Dharakote royal family and current chairperson of Dharakote block in Ganjam district, had taken the first step into electoral politics in 2017 panchayat elections. Having been nominated by the BJD ticket for the Sanakhemundi Assembly segment this year, it is a huge leap for her.

At 27, she is the youngest chairperson in Ganjam district, and aims to continue her family’s legacy in public service. The eldest daughter of BJD leader and former Sanakhemundi MLA Nandini Devi, Gitanjali was crowned the symbolic king of Dharakote in 2010 after the demise of her father Kishore Chandra Singh Deo.

A law degree holder, Gitanjali gained prominence in 2010 when she performed the ceremonial sweeping of the chariots during Jagannath Rath Yatra, usually done by the king. Her lineage and dedication to public service have earned her the opportunity to represent her constituency in the upcoming elections.

Her candidacy announcement has garnered widespread support, with thousands of admirers and BJD workers expressing their delight and gratitude towards Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Expressing her commitment to serving the people of Dharakote, Gitanjali acknowledged the empowerment initiatives for women pioneered by Naveen Patnaik. She credits her mother, former Sanakhemundi MLA Nandini Devi, for paving the way and vows to continue the developmental work initiated in the region.

“I owe it to my mother and the people of Dharakote,” said Gitanjali. The empowerment to women by the CM is unmatchable, she said, adding, the numerous developmental schemes executed by BJD in the state are beneficial to all sections of people.

“Due to the encouragement by CM Naveen Patnaik, my mother could represent the Sanakhemundi segment where many developmental works have been taken up. There are more things to come and I am sure I will live up to the expectations of the people,” she assured. She is ready to take forward family tradition.

In the electoral fray, Gitanjali faces tough competition from prominent candidates, including incumbent MLA Ramesh Jena of Congress and Uttam Panigrahi of BJP. The Communist Party is also contemplating fielding a candidate for the segment. With her seven years of experience in public life and the backing of Naveen Patnaik’s leadership, Gitanjali aims to win the trust of the electorate and carry forward the legacy of service and development in Sanakhemundi.

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