Umerkote: Umerkote Municipality in Nabarangpur district comprises 14 wards with 23,718 voters.
Most of the voters are reportedly weighing the educational qualifications of the contestants for the post of chairperson rather than their party affiliations.
The post of chairperson is reserved for women of scheduled tribe category. The BJD has fielded Radha Bhatra; BJP has given ticket to Rinki Ganda; Congress to Damayanti Disari and BSP to Santoshi Majhi.
Over the years, the people of the civic body have been suffering in the absence of some necessary civic amenities.
Locals and intellectuals observed that if an educated candidate is elected to the post of chairperson, she can carry forward various developmental works.
They said, “Drains are clogged and sanitation is poor. New road projects take years for completion. The civic body authorities have failed to maintain its properties. They have failed to make the city beautiful and clean. Traffic problem has worsened over years.”
They also pointed out that there has been no effort for renovation of the river that originated from Bhaskel dam.
The BJD nominee Radha Bhatra has been carrying out door-to-door campaign and trying to woo voters to her side by highlighting various welfare measures and projects undertaken by the BJD government.
“If elected, I will definitely take up more developmental works in the municipality. The BJD has always been working for the people,” she said.
BJD’s Nabarangpur MP Ramesh Majhi said that like the panchayat elections, the BJD will excel in the urban local body elections.
BJP is trying its level best to counter the BJD. BJP nominee Rinki Ganda accompanying Umerkote MLA Nityananda Ganda has also been doing the door-to-door campaign.
“The BJD is doing nothing for the people and is misleading people on pretext of various schemes. Voters will repose faith on the BJP.
And the BJP will win,” Rinki said. Congress candidate Damayanti Disari slammed the BJD and the BJP over price spirals and unresolved civic problems.
She said that both the BJP and the BJD have been misleading people. If elected she would do a lot of works, she added.