Kendrapara: Political atmosphere has already gathered momentum in Kendrapara district with the ticket aspirants on their toes for the upcoming three-tier polls. As many as 10,587 party and independent candidates have filed nominations in Kendrapara for the three-tier panchayat polls.
Verification of the submitted documents is being carried out since Saturday. A final list of the contestants will be released January 25. While, Covid-19 restrictions might hinder electioneering process, local issues will be reflected in Kendrapara, analysts as well as voters opined.
“Fishing activities have been banned in coastal areas of Mahakalpada and Rajnagar blocks for the last seven months, which has put the local fishermen and residents in a tight corner. On the pretext of safety of Olive Ridleys, fishermen are not allowed for a long period to eke out their living, starting mostly from November 1 to May 31 every year,” a fisherman from Mahakalpada block Harekrushna Mandal said.
Compensation money paid by local administration during restriction days does not suffice to smoothly meet household expenses. A befitting candidate who will be able to raise voice and sort out the perennial problem of fishermen is preferable, Mandal asserted.
“Scarcity of drinking water is the biggest problem faced by residents in Kendrapara district. Even as very limited people in the rural areas are supplied drinking water through taps, about 80 per cent are deprieved of pure and safe water for their household requirements. Except the Derabisi and Kendrapara blocks, drinking water scarcity is witnessed across the district,” Harekrushna Patra of Chhapali village said.
Local political analysts namely Pratap Kumar Padhy, Sarojraj Singh and Sunil Kumar Gantayat said, “Basic amenities like road, bridge, drinking water, education and healthcare will be the main local issues before candidates who are to contest upcoming three-tier polls.”
The electioneering process in Kendrapara district started with posters, banners and social media, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The district administration should be careful about political crimes, they added.
On being contacted, local Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Durga Prasad Maharana said, “Kendrapara district administration is well prepared to conduct the upcoming polls and has given priority to curb political crimes and strictly enforce the Covid-19 safety protocols.”
Meanwhile, internal dissidence in the district has reached its peak in three major political parties namely BJD, BJP and Congress as the last date for filing nominations for panchayat polls is January 23.