Independants Play Havoc

An otherwise peaceful Rayagada district in southern parts of Odisha witness hectic political activities as the twin elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assembly is barely left some days.  

Though different candidates are busy in lobbying for themselves, there is absolutely peace all along the district.

However, the noise is heard mostly from the independent candidates who have emerged as major threat to official candidates of major political parties.

While the fight is mostly triangular among the BJD, Congress and BJP in this part of the state, emergence of certain independent veterans keeps candidates of major parties on their toes.

Two former MLAs Trinath Gamang and Ramamurty Mutika are this time contesting as independent candidates in Gunupur assembly segment giving sleepless nights to official candidates of registered parties.
As BJD this time denied ticket to sitting MLA Trinath Gamang and ex-MLA Ramamurty Mutika (elected in 2009), they have been contesting against Raghunath Gamang, the party’s official candidate in Gunupur.
The appearance of two former MLAs has caused a major problem for Raghunath.
With Trinath and Ramamurthy fighting Raghunath, (all from BJD), the opposition Congress candidate Purusottam Gamang is a happy man.
Purusottam is happy because, he sees a chance of winning the seat as the BJD votes are all set to be divided into three parts.
Similarly, sitting MLA and former Minister Lal Bihari Himirika of BJD is also facing tough challenge not from the rival Basant Ullaka of BJP and K Apalanm Swamy of Congress, but from the independent candidate Makaranda Muduli.

Mr.Muduli had contested last time as a Congress candidate from Rayagada and lost to Lal Bihari Himirika after polling 61,343 votes. Himirika had got 69,629 votes in 2014.

However, the Congress this time denied ticket to Mr.Muduli and preferred to make Kadraka Apala Swamy as its candidate.

Therefore, Mr.Muduli has been contesting as an independent candidate. He has been a threat more to the Congress candidate Apala Swamy and less to Mr.Himirika.

He becoming an independent candidate may help Mr.Himirika and cut Congress’s vote. Therefore, this independent candidate is a deciding factor in Rayagada.

There is also a feeling among the voters in Rayagada assembly segment that all parties pick up candidates from Rayagada block and not from Kashipur block. They think Kashipur therefore remain neglected as parties make candidates from Rayagada.

This time around, the people of Kashipur have more or less decided to vote for the candidate who commits for the development of Kashipur, infamous for eating mango kernel.

In Bissam Katak, things are however little bit different. Here though there is no independent  candidate, BSP has put a very aggressive and young Jitendra Jakaka.

The BSP has some existence in Bissam Katak assembly segment which is evident from the previous elections in 2014. Last time, BSP candidate Bariani Miniaka had polled more than 17,000 votes.
Since, Jitendra Jakaka is a candidate; he is expected to get more votes because of his soft approach. He is a young man and attracts first time voters.
Though BJD candidate Jagannath Saraka is in comfortable position in Bissam Katak, Mr.Jakaka’s candidature from BSP may bring down the ruling party’s margin.

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