Star campaigners heat up poll scene in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Undeterred by the gruelling heat, senior leaders of major political parties are rather making the poll scene hotter in Odisha by criss-crossing the state to woo voters for the twin elections while more big-wigs are set to hit the campaign trail soon.

While the ruling BJD has already intensified its campaigning with party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik making whistle-stop tour of the state, Congress and BJP are set to bring their star campaigners.

Even as the mercury has soared above 40 degree Celsius in most parts of the state with capital city Bhubaneswar recording the hottest at 41.8 degree Celsius yesterday, poll fever is poised to warm up further.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address election meetings in Koraput and Nabarangpur tomorrow, while party president Sonia Gandhi is expected to campaign in the state on April 7.

Similarly, the high-voltage campaign would gather more steam as BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to address two poll rallies at Rourkela and Balangir on April 4. BJP President and party's fire-brand leader Rajnath Singh is also slated to address election meetings in at least four places on April 2 in a bid to boost the party's poll prospects in the state.

According to Congress general secretary in-charge of Odisha B K Hariprasad, who was here recently to finalise the programmes for top leaders, "Sonia ji and Rahul ji will be the star campaigners for the party in Odisha."

Simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assembly are scheduled in Odisha on April 10 and 17. The party also plans to rope in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for electioneering in Odisha, a senior party leader said.

As Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Jayadev Jena puts it, the grand old national party is also trying for visits by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul for the second phase election slated for April 17.

Rahul's proposed tour for the second phase polls may include Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj, sources said adding that Sonia Gandhi may campaign in coastal Odisha for the second-phase elections.

Similarly, BJP's firebrand campaigner Modi is likely to address rallies in coastal parts of the state for second phase polls besides his proposed rallies at Rourkela and Balangir for the first phase.

Earlier, Modi addressed a rally in Bhubaneswar in February and another at Sambalpur in March.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda will also campaign for BJP, a party leader said.

PTI
First Published: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 16:11
comments powered by Disqus