Intense Campaigning Concludes for Odisha's Lok Sabha and Assembly Seats

Campaigning for five Lok Sabha seats and 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha has ended, with heavyweights from BJD, BJP, and Congress canvassing. The polls will be held on May 20, featuring prominent candidates like CM Naveen Patnaik. Over 79.62 lakh voters are eligible to vote.

PTI | Bhubaneswar | Updated: 18-05-2024 20:00 IST | Created: 18-05-2024 19:50 IST
Intense Campaigning Concludes for Odisha's Lok Sabha and Assembly Seats
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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The high-decibel campaigning ended on Saturday for five Lok Sabha seats and 35 assembly constituencies in Odisha, which will go to polls on May 20. Among the prominent candidates in the second round of simultaneous elections in the state are BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and his colleagues in the state government Bikram Arukha, Niranjan Pujari, PK Amat, Tukuni Sahu, Rita Sahu and SP Nayak.

Ex-union minister and Sundergarh's sitting MP Jual Oram, former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, former union minister and hotelier Dilip Ray, and BJP’s four-time Lok Sabha MP Sangeeta Singh De are also in the fray in this round of elections. Patnaik is seeking re-election from his home turf Hinjili and also contesting from the Kantabanji assembly segment under the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat this time.

Altogether 40 candidates are contesting from Aska, Kandhamal, Bolangir, Bargarh and Sundergarh Lok Sabha seats, while 265 are in the fray for 35 assembly constituencies. Altogether 79.62 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise on May 20.

The BJD had won Aska and Kandhamal Lok Sabha seats in 2019, while three others had gone to the BJP.

The state, during this round of electioneering, witnessed heavyweights of the ruling BJD, and the opposition BJP and Congress canvassing for their respective candidates. Prominent leaders, who campaigned during this round of elections, included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and its leader Rahul Gandhi.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chhattisgarh CM Vishnu Dev Sai, Rajasthan CM Bhajan Lal, Tripura’s ex-CM Biplab Kumar Deb also hit the campaign trail. During the campaigning, PM Modi launched a scathing attack on the chief minister, accusing him of destroying the Odia “Asmita” (pride).

Patnaik termed the campaign speeches by BJP leaders as ''derogatory and abusive''.

''Some chief ministers and union ministers come as political tourists only at the time of elections and then they disappear,'' Patnaik told PTI Videos.

Personal attacks by political leaders cutting across the parties dominated the campaign in the second phase of elections in the state, while issues like price rise and under-development were getting subdued.

On the last of electioneering on Saturday, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw campaigned for BJP's Jual Oram in Bonai, while BJP MP and actress Hema Malini hit the campaign trail for party candidates in Angul, Pallahara and Deogarh under the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat. Former union minister and Congress leader Sachin Pilot was seen canvassing for the party candidate in the Balasore Lok Sabha seat.

From BJD, Patnaik and his aide VK Pandian also held whirlwind campaigning across the state.

This phase of campaigning was intense as the BJP put its efforts to retain Bargarh, Bolangir and Sundergarh Lok Sabha seats.

The campaigning in the Aska Lok Sabha constituency was partially affected due to poll violence in which a BJP worker was killed in Ganjam district, the home district of the chief minister. As many as 22 companies of central armed police forces were deployed in the district for the May 20 polling.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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