Jajpur: All eyes are on local candidates and the impact they could make in the coming elections as candidates from other areas usually win polls in Jajpur district.
The fielding of outsiders in elections is nothing new in this district, but they have deprived many local hopefuls of party tickets.
The fielding of outsiders who do not have any connection with the district in elections is a new fad which is slowly gaining acceptance among voters.
This has given rise to personality based polls where the personality of a candidate and the party he/she represents matters more in winning polls.
Naturally this has sparked resentment among workers of all parties as well as a section of voters as they consider it as an infringement on their rights. They say that only persons who are sons of the soil should get party tickets.
Observers said dissatisfaction over the selection of candidates could make or mar the chances of parties.
History shows that leaders like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Acharya JB Kriplani, Rammanohar Lohia, Indira Gandhi, Biju Patnaik, Harekrushna Mahatab and Nandini Satpathy won from seats outside their native places.
Nabakrushna Choudhury became the first Chief Minister of Odisha after winning from the Barchana Assembly seat in Jajpur district, despite being a native of Jagatsinghpur district. Later, Jadumani Mangaraj from Kendrapara district won from Barchana Assembly seat in 1957 on a Congress ticket. He then became Deputy Speaker in the Assembly.
Prahallad Mallick of Pattamundai in Kendrapara district became the first MLA from Bari-Derabish after the area became an Assembly seat in 1974.
Korei was earlier in Jajpur West Assembly seat from where former minister Prafulla Ghadai won twice in 1967 and 1971. He was originally from Birajapur village of Dasarthpur block in this district. Later, he contested from Sukinda Assembly seat and won from 1990 to 2009. He also became a minister.
His son Preetiranjan Ghadai won from Korei in 2009 and Sukinda in 2014. As Jajpur was reserved for SC candidates the late Janata Dal leader Ashok Das contested from Korei in 1974 and won. He represented the seat six times despite being a resident of Jajpur.
Sanchita Mohanty of BJP won from Korei in 2004 although her parents’ house was in Rambag in Dasarathpur block and her in-laws place was Balasore.
Kalpataru Das belonged to Bhotka village in Korei, but he was elected MLA from Dharmasala from 1995 to 2009 and also became a minister. Debashis Nayak, the MLA of Bari, has a parental house in the area, but spent most of his life outside.
Records say that outsiders have found favour among voters in Korei, Sukinda, Dharmasala and Barchana Assembly seats.
There are speculations that Ashok Das’ son Pranab Prakash Das alias Bobby is eyeing the Korei seat instead of Jajpur. Similarly, Pranab Balbantray and Preetiranjan Ghadai have won from outside seats instead of their native places.