Naveen Womens' 1st Choice

With polling for the first phase of elections in 4 Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly segments barely left a week, the voters’ mood is clearly divided.

The voters of Berhampur and Aska Lok Sabha constituencies in undivided Ganjam district are clearly divided between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

There seems that the Congress is nowhere in the lips of the people in undivided Ganjam district except some areas in Mohana Assembly segment.

The fight in the two Lok Sabha seats is between BJD and BJP. Though both the seats are considered as the fort of the Governing BJD headed by Naveen Patnaik, the Pulwama terror attack and subsequent air strike inside Pakistan, has brought people close to the BJP headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr.Modi is this time a factor in polls and one cannot ignore him at least in undivided Ganjam district.

As a small shop owner Sukant Gouda at Chhatrapur pointed out that national security has emerged as a major concern for the people across the country and also the people of Ganjam district.

“We feel Mr.Modi is proper answer to Pakistan. And no other Indian politician can replace Mr.Modi so far facing Pakistan’s terrorist is concerned,”
Mr.Gouda said adding that Mr.Modi has already make an inroad into minds of the people here.

Therefore, Mr.Gouda says, Mr.Modi’s lotus symbol may take some votes in Berhampur Lok Sabha seat.
The youths and first time voters seem to be tilting towards BJP even as the saffron party has not yet any such programme to catch their votes.
It is difficult to bring the young finger tips to lotus symbol in the EVM, pointed out a local school teacher.
The college students and even uneducated youths using smart phones are aware of the developments taking place in the border with Pakistan and all of them are happy over the action taken by Modi.

This is not all. Many educated male voters also opine that Modi should be prime minister again.

But, the voters of Berhampur and Aska Lok Sabha seats at the same time are not ready to annoy BJD president Naveen Patnaik. “How can we forget
Naveen Patnaik who has made all arrangement for the poor people including farmers,” asked a woman morning walker at Berhampur.

While most of the youths are happy over Modi’s action against Pakistan, their mothers and sisters are least concerned whether the IAF bombs eliminated terrorist camps at Balakote.

The women, who constitute about 50 per cent of the voters, however, prefer to go with Naveen and his BJD.

“Naveen has made Pari Maa (Pramila Bisoi) an MP candidate in Aska. Like Pari Maa, I also work as a Self Help Group member. Now I can aspire to become an MLA also. Who knows Naveen will not make me a law-maker,” said an old woman in Aska assembly segment.

The old woman’s husband, however, did not support his wife. He wanted a strong government at the centre and not weak and frail candidate in Aska Lok Sabha seat. “What this old woman will say in Lok Sabha. She does not know how to speak in Hindi or English,” the old man asked rejecting Naveen’s choice from Aska Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP has fielded veteran leader Ramakrishna Patnaik’s daughter Anita Subhadarshini. She is an associate professor with IGNOU in New Delhi.
Many people support her candidature not because of her party or father’s reputation, but for her education and ability to mingle with people.

Many male persons in undivided Ganjam district openly say that their wives would vote for Naveen’s conch symbol. “Our wives are not in a mood to listen us in regard to elections. They have made up their mid to vote Naveen,” said a man who sales sugar cane juice at Aska market.

In Hinjili, the home constituency of Naveen Patnaik, people are not happy over their leader contesting from Bijepur assembly segment also. “We have all along ensured his victory from Hinjili. He should not contest from two places. He may resign from Hinjili,” said an elderly man, who is also supporter of BJD.

The people of Hinjili suspect that Naveen may quit them and chose to retain Bijepur after elections.

In Berhampur, many people do not support Ramesh Chayu Patnaik campaigning for Bikram Panda. “Mr.Chayu Patnaik had defeated Mr.Panda four times earlier, now seeking vote for his victory? This is something strange,” said a Ballabh Patro at Komapalli area.

In Sanakhemundi, the people are not fully happy over their MLA Nandini Devi who has been contesting the polls again. The people are able to keep contact with their representative because of her royal style.

Congress candidate Ramesh Jena on the other hand has no such problem who seeks votes from all sections of the people.

In some areas of Mohana, the Congress appears to be having certain edge over rivals due to majority of minority community votes.

However, Governing BJD is more popular among the people but not BJP as it enjoys support in other places.   

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