Business Standard

High-voltage campaign ends for final phase of Odisha polls


IANS Bhubaneswar
The high decibel cacophony of loudspeakers blaring out poll slogans fell silent as the hectic campaign for the fourth and final phase of elections to Odisha's Lok Sabha and assembly seats ended on Saturday.
Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituencies and 41 Assembly segments under them will go to polls on Monday.
Different political parties and Independent candidates made their last-ditch efforts to woo the voters ahead of their decision day.
Fifty-two candidates are in the fray for the six Lok Sabha seats while 336 candidates are contesting for the Assembly seats in the last phase.
On the last day of electioneering, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is giving a tough fight to the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the coastal state, handed the poll baton to President Amit Shah, who addressed two rallies in Mayurbhanj and Jajpur.
Launching a scathing attack on ruling BJD and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Shah urged the electorate to dethrone the "corrupt and inefficient government" and bless the saffron party to usher in a new Odisha.
Earlier, several Union Ministers had held public meetings in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also addressed two rallies in Kendrapara and Balasore.
On the other hand, Patnaik, who is leading the campaign trail single-handedly for the BJD across the state, on Saturday held a massive roadshow in Kendrapara. He is facing the toughest battle in his 19-year-long reign in the state.
"Touched and humbled by the love of people of Kendrapara who came out in large numbers to shower their blessings during my campaign trail. They are part of my 4.5 crore family of Odisha. Kendrapara's development is my responsibility and I will personally monitor it," he tweeted.
As for Congress, its President Rahul Gandhi held a public meeting in Balasore on Friday, while senior party leaders Gulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar campaigned for party candidates in several constituencies.
The fourth phase campaigning also added the glamour quotient with several Odia cinema actors seen canvassing in favour of political parties and candidates.
Almost all popular actors were seen campaigning in Kendrapara constituency, which is witnessing the most prestigious poll battle in Odisha. BJP Vice President Baijayant Panda, who won the seat on a BJD ticket in 2014, and Odia film star Anubhav Mohanty are fighting for the seat.
It also gave a chance to the people to get a glimpse of their favourite artistes, who managed to pull them out of their houses in the sweltering summer.

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First Published: Apr 27 2019 | 7:36 PM IST

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