Bhubaneswar: The high-voltage campaigning for the third phase elections to six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies ended Sunday evening. These seats will go to polls April 23.
Polling in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal Lok Sabha seats and 42 assembly segments coming under these constituencies will be held in this phase.
Leaders of various political parties like the BJP and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) undertook whirlwind tours of the constituencies, mostly situated in coastal and central Odisha.
On the concluding day, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik campaigned for party candidates in Kuchinda, Jaydev, Athagarh, Rajnagar, Kendrapara and Kakatpur Assembly constituencies. He also conducted a roadshow from Astarang to Bhubaneswar via Kakatpur. Earlier, Patnaik had visited all other constituencies to seek votes for party candidates.
Addressing a public meeting in Kuchinda, Naveen slammed the BJP-led Union government for neglecting Odisha and claimed that no single national party will get majority in the elections 2019. He said BJD will play a key role in the formation of a new government at the Centre.
“Where were the Central leaders while Odisha was fighting a series of Natural calamities? Now, they are visiting the state at the time of elections,” he said targeting the BJP leaders.
As part of the campaign for the saffron party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah criss-crossed the poll-bound segments addressing a host of rallies all over state. BJP leaders including Union Ministers Uma Bharti, Nitin Gadkari and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi hit the campaign trail in these seats.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal addressed BJP’s Vijay Sankalap Samabesh at Satyabadi in Puri, Athgarh in Cuttack and also attended a roadshow at Marshaghai in Kendrapara. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also held public meetings at various locations including Angul, Pallahara, Binjharpur assembly segments.
“It is almost impossible to execute railway projects in Odisha because the State government has not been cooperating in acquiring land for the projects. BJD government has pushed the State into backwardness,” Goyal said.
Apart from addressing rallies in Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar April 16, Modi had also led a massive roadshow in Bhubaneswar the same day to bolster the prospects of the BJP at the elections. Similar roadshows had been held by Amit Shah in the seaside pilgrim town of Puri and the millennium city of Cuttack as part of BJP’s electioneering.
Congress star campaigners were absent in this phase and electioneering was spearheaded by leaders like Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik.
The third phase of polling will decide the electoral fortune of 417 candidates – 61 in six Lok Sabha seats and 356 in 42 assembly constituencies. While there are six women candidates in the six Lok Sabha seats, 38 women are in the fray for the 42 Assembly segments.
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