Keen Contest In Koraput

Out of the 18 elections fought in Koraput Lok Sabha Seat since 1957, Congress has wrested it 16 times, while BJD got twice lucky and now Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is trying hard to gain control of the seat for a women-Kaushalya Hikaka, a politically novice.

Interestingly, both the leaders, those who made it for BJD are not contesting from the regional outfit. Jayaram Pangi, who wrested the seat from Giridhar Gomangoin 2009 for BJD, is now with BJP and contesting the polls.
And Jhina Hikaka, who defeated Giridhar Gomango in 2014 is not given ticket this time though his wife is fielded by BJD Supremo, who promised to field 33 Percent of women in Lok Sabha seats.
While Kaushalya is depending upon Naveen Patnaik Charisma and  Women Vote Bank, Jayaram is banking on “Modi Wave”, which is silently growing among the young electorates.
Anil, an young entrepreneur, who runs a Common Service Centre at Gunupur was categorical in saying “It is Narendra Modi, who can save us from any type of crisis, none lease, so we are going for BJP in Parliament”.
However he was sceptical about Shishir Gomango, son of Giridhar Gomango, who is contesting from Gunupur Assembly seat as BJP Candidate and it is one of the seven segments under Koraput.
Either Senior or Junior Gomango ever visit Gunupur nor they are in contact with the people of the area, so chances of winning is poor for Shishir, said he, who seems to be a Modi Fan.
Though a Congress fort since 1957 till 2009, Koraput this time Congress will have tough time as both BJD and BJP are much ahead of campaign, publicity and organization.
Congress has fielded Saptagiri Ulaka, a Green Horn whose father Rama Chandra Ulaka, a Congress Veteran is trying hard to gain control of the seat.
So far both financial and human resources are concerned Saptagiri is lacking as compared to BJP and BJD candidates.
BJP is having Jayaram Pangi, a veteran Non Congress leader with large number of followers, who deserted regional outfit to lead Saffron Brigade in this tribal zone.
It is seen from the road shows of BJD and BJP that both the parties are fighting neck to neck, however contest will be between a tri corner one.
Congress has silent supporters like Bhima Hikaka, a 70 years old phoo phooed “Modi Wave” and said till date Amma, meaning Indira Gandhi is alive for me and we will vote for “hand”.
Echoing him Jacob Majhi, a young Christian from Bisam Katak said this time Congress will come to power as Rahul Gandhi has promised Loan Waiver and hike of MSP for Paddy.
This will help the farmers, who are in debt trap and not able to repay their loans due to low income from farm sector.
Kaushalya Hikaka, who was teaching in the school is banking upon Naveen Patnaik Government’s pro poor policies of “One Rupee Rice”, “KALIA Dole”, Biju Pucca Ghar and Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana” and “Development Plank’.
For Kaushalya, Mission Shakti will come to her rescue as Women Self Help Groups (WSHG)s are now active in elections as they have been promised with Rs.Five Lakh Interest Free Loans after the new BJD Government comes to Power.
During the Road shows of BJD Supremo Naveen Patnaik, it was the women folk, who turned out in large numbers and welcomed their leader, who they feel all along with them.
A visit to Laxmipur Weekly Market, where all the three political parties made road shows turned out to be very interesting.
All the leaders mingled with the tribal people and campaigned for their respective candidates, be it Jayaram of BJP, Kaushalya of BJD or Saptagiri of Congress, the tribal people welcomed them heartily.
They were given pushing cards by the respective parties and when the candidate leaves the scene, the push card was abandoned just like that and they were seen collecting their groceries and other items from the shops.
When asked as to why they threw away the push cards, Jashoda, a middle aged tribal lady said why to keep it we will vote for a honest candidate, who will solve out drinking water problem in my village.
After so many years of development, hundreds of villages in Koraput are facing drinking water crisis and women folks are hard hit as they move to nearby river, which is more than a mile to bathe and collect drinking water.

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