Bhubaneswar, Apr 15 UNI | 3 months ago

The hustle bustle of high voltage campaign in the politically sensitive coastal and north Odisha came to an end today to seal the electoral fortune of 98 Lok sabha and 747 assembly aspirants.

Elections to the ten Lok Sabha and 70 Assembly seats were held in the first phase on April 10 last and passed off peacefully barring stray incidents of snatching and burning of EVM machines by the Maoists.

Notwithstanding the blistering heat wave condition sweeping across the Western and Southern Odisha and Maoist threat to boycott the poll, over 75 per cent voters turned out to exercise their franchise in the first phase. Election to the remaining 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly seats would be held in the second and final phase on April 17 next to seal the fate of total 845 candidates. Repolling will be held in 22 polling booths on April 17 which was cancelled in the first phase of polling on April 10 last due to snatching and burning of EVM machines by the Maoists and disturbances in some polling booths.

About 1,55,05,525 electorates, spread over 13 districts would exercise their franchise in 18,692 polling booths.

Prominent among those in the fray for Lok Sabha are Union Minister of Chemical and fertilizer Srikant Jena(Balasore),former Union Minister Arjun Charan Sethy( Bhadrak),Editor of Dharitri and Orissa Post Tathagat Satpathy( Dhenkanal), Ollywood stars Aparajita Mohanty( Cuttack) and Bijaya Mohanty( Bhubaneswar) and sitting BJD MP Baijant Panda( Kendrapada). As many as six BJD sitting MPs were seeking reelection from their constituency as the ruling BJD dropped three sitting MPs and fielded new candidates for Jaipur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seats.

The second phase Assembly elections will witness a big battle for ballots with the presence of eight council of Ministers of Naveen Patnaik government, two BJD Rajya Sabha sitting MPs and 17 former Ministers, 12 of them belonged to the BJD and rest five from Congress besides a several sitting MLAs.

Congress Chief Jayadeb Jena( Anandpur) and Aam Odisha Pary chief Soumya ranjan Patnaik( Khandpara) will also try their electoral fortune this time in a multi cornered contest.

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi,Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi and BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were the star campaigners for their parties who addressed a series of meetings in support of their party candidates during the electioneering.

(Posted on 15-04-2014)