Meet Odisha’s poorest MP candidate all set to fight polls with zero cash

Bhubaneswar: The stage is set for the General Elections. The political landscape is charged all the more with simultaneous Assembly polls in Odisha, both to be simultaneously held on May 13. The stakes are high and so is the relentless pursuit of funding by candidates. But a 25-year-old arts graduate from the State’s Koraput district is changing the game by entering the poll arena with nothing but mere grit. With zero cash and a bank balance of Rs 20,625, Pramila Pujari is contenting for the Lok Sabha seat from Koraput as a candidate of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) .

As per the poll affidavit submitted by Pujari, she has secured a BA degree in Arts from Government Women’s Degree College in Jeypore. A daily labourer by profession, she only has Rs 1125 with the Indian Overseas Bank at Boipariguda branch and Rs 19,500 with State Bank of India in the same area, which Pujari has pooled from people for financial assistance to fight the polls. The affidavit also states her association with the SUCI’s student wing since 2016.

Touted as the “poorest” candidate from Odisha by the Association of Democratic Reforms, Pujari’s poll strategy banks not on expensive rallies but only maximising community support.

With mere courage, perseverance and a vision for the nation, Pujari plans to reach out to people through door-to-door meetings and village gatherings.

The rare display of such a minimalistic approach to what has been termed as the world’s largest electoral exercise, has given a new meaning to the democratic spirit at play.

Stressing on her commitment to working for people, Pujari said school dropout among tribal students is a major concern for her. If she wins, her focus would be improving the state of education and health services in her area.



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