Angul: As campaigning for third phase election picks up here, the leaders in the fray are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters, particularly those in rural areas.
Political observers here are of the opinion that the residents of Panchagad area, Bantala area under Banarpal block and Angul block have a big role in deciding the fate of candidates.
Angul Assembly constituency comprises of 23 municipal wards of town municipality, 25 panchayats of Angul block and 17 panchayats in Banarpal block.
While BJD has fielded Rajanikant Singh, a three time MLA, BJP’s Pratap Chandra Pradhan and Congress’ Biplab Jena are in the race too.
In the past, Rajanikant could manage to garner more votes from Budhapank, Gadasantri, Balaramprasad, Nuahata, Gotamara, Gada Talamula and Bantala, the areas known as Panchagad. Since Rajanikant is a resident of Panchagad, the results are likely to tilt heavily in his favour.
What goes against him is – Congress candidate Biplab Jena, who also belongs to Panchagad area. He is expected to give Rajanikant a good run for his money this time. Pratap Chandra Pradhan, who contested 2014 elections on a Congress ticket, is contesting on a BJP ticket this time. He is also gunning for votes from Panchagad area.
The parties have begun projecting the number of votes they are likely to poll. So goes the speculation among the public. The support of voters of 12 panchayats in Bantala area is also another important factor that is being widely discussed.
As an agrarian society, irrigation is the main election issue here. Demands like construction of Hidsingh Dam, setting up a fire station, and a cold storage have been in the wish list of the people here. The residents of Nandpur, Poktunga, Dhokuta, Talagad and Bargonia panchayats are likely to give their votes to that candidate who they feel capable of solving their problems, locals say.