Odisha polls: Campaigning ends for fourth phase elections

Bhubaneswar: Campaigning for the fourth and final phase of elections in Odisha scheduled to be held on April 29 concluded today.

The day witnessed high voltage campaigning by BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik in Kendrapara and BJP national president Amit Shah in Jajpur.

In the fourth phase, Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituencies and 41 Assembly segments under them will go to polls.

As many as 52 candidates are in the fray for the six Lok Sabha seats while 336 candidates including are contesting for the Assembly segments.

A total of 95.14 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in 10,792 booths. Out of the total voters, 49.08 lakh are male, 46.05 lakh female and 615 third gender.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is trying to retain the six Lok Sabha seats it had won in 2014 polls.

An intense battle will be witnessed in Kendrapara where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice-president Baijayant Panda will lock horns with BJD Rajya Sabha MP and Odia actor Anubhav Mohanty. Congress has repeated its candidate Dharanidhar Nayak from the seat.

In Mayurbhanj, BJD’s Debashis Marndi is fighting against BJP candidate Bishweshwar Tudu and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) Anjani Soren, daughter of party chief Shibu Soren. Anjani is the JMM-Congress alliance candidate from the seat.

The Balasore seat will witness a triangular fight between the Congress, BJP and BJD. Sitting BJD MP Rabindra Kumar Jena will fight against BJP’s Pratap Sarangi and Navajyoti Patnaik, son of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik.

Avimanyu Sethi, son of sitting MP Arjun Sethi, is contesting from Bhadrak Lok Sabha on BJP ticket. The senior Sethi quit the BJD and joined BJP after his son was denied a party ticket. The BJD has fielded Manjulata Mandal, spouse of sitting Dhamnagar MLA Muktikanta Mandal from the seat. Congress has fielded Madhumita Sethi, daughter of senior Congress leader Ananta Charan Sethi.

In Jajpur, BJD has fielded former state administrative officer Sarmistha Sethi. BJP’s Amiya Kanta Mallick and Congress’ Manas Jena are making all-out efforts to breach the impregnable BJD bastion.

In Jagatsinghpur, BJD MLA from Tirtol Rajashri Mallick’s is up against BJP’s Bibhu Prasad Tarai and Congress’ Pratima Mallick.

In Assembly segments, several ministers including Prafulla Samal (Bhandaripokhari), Anant Das (Bhograi), Shashi Bhusan Behera (Kendrapara), and Pratap Jena (Mahanga) are contesting in the fourth phase. Odisha Pradesh Congress President Niranjan Patnaik is fighting from Bhandaripokhari seat against Minister Prafulla Samal.

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