Berhampur: At Ward number 2 in Polasara town of Ganjam district, the fight between the main rivals, a greenhorn and a veteran, is not just political, but also personal. The lines between family and politics have blurred as Anil Sahu of the BJD is contesting against his 65-year-old father and BJP leader Duryodhan Sahu in his own den. A direct contest is all set to be held in the ward, which has over 1,000 voters, as the third candidate withdrew his nomination Monday.
Elections for 19 wards in the Polasara Notified Area Council (NAC), 150km southwest of Bhubaneswar, are scheduled to be held Thursday along with 108 other municipal bodies in the state.
“Every citizen has the right to contest an election,” said Anil, who filed his nomination a day after Duryodhan did. “It’s not a contest between the son and father, it’s the fight between the BJD and the BJP,” the 37-year-old contractor, who is staying separately from his parents, said.
Before filing the nomination, Anil did not consult any of his family members, according to his father, who is a local businessman. “He did not even consult me before joining the ruling party in the state,” Duryodhan said.
Duryodhan, a follower of former minister Ram Krushna Patnaik, has won five times as the councillor in a row and four times from Ward number 2 in the past.
In the last election, his wife, Soudamini, was elected from the same ward as the councillor and became the NAC chairperson. This time, she had also filed the nomination to contest on a BJP ticket from Ward number 3, but later withdrew from the race.
Anil acknowledges his father’s influence in Polasara, but is determined not to throw in the towel. Duryodhan has not visited Anil’s home yet after the latter joined the BJD. Only time will tell whether there is no love lost between the two men after the counting of votes Saturday.