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Pre-poll violence rocks Odisha as it goes to poll for third phase in six LS and 42 Assembly seats

Pre-poll violence rocks Odisha as it goes to poll for third phase in six LS and 42 Assembly seats

| @indiablooms | 22 Apr 2019, 02:04 pm

Bhubaneswar, Apr 22 (UNI) Pre-poll violent incidents were reported in many parts of Odisha leading to the arrest of former minister and sitting BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathi today as the state goes to polls tomorrow in third phase in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly seats.

Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar today several violent incidents had taken place in the Odisha.

Reports reaching here said BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathi was arrested today for attacking a magistrate and flying squad team which went to his farm house in Pipili last night on the information that money and liquor were being distributed.

In another incident, in the state capital the former Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation chairman and BJD candidate from Bhubaneswar central was injured when miscreants hurled bombs at his vehicle last night.

Prior to that BJP candidate also from Bhubaneswar central Jagannath Pradhan was also attacked last night by the miscreants.

Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik and his supporters were also attacked in Ghasipura assembly constituency last night leading to high tension in the area. Incidents of minor clashes were also reported from other places too.

Altogether 92,56,922 voters will exercise their franchise in 10,464 booths to decide the fate of several heavyweights including six ministers of Naveen Patnaik government.

While 61 candidates are in the fray for six Lok Sabha seats as many as 356 candidates are vying for 42 Assembly seats.

Election will be held in Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seats and 42 Assembly segments under these Lok Sabha constituencies tomorrow.

All the six Lok Sabha seats were held by the BJD in 2014 elections. Out of the 42 Assembly seats going to polls tomorrow, the Independents had won two- Satyabadi and Champua Assembly seats , the BJP had won three—Chilika, Kochinda and Deogarha Assembly seats and rest 37 were captured by BJD in 2014.
The Ministers whose electoral fortune will be sealed in tomorrow’s ballots are School and Mass Education Minister Badrinarayan Patra,(Ghasipura) , Industry and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik(Kamakhyanagar), Commerce and Transport Minister Nrusingha Sahu(Parjanga), Sports and Youth Aaffairs Minister Chandra Sarathi behera (Cuttack Sadar), Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty (Puri), Tourism and culture Affairs Minister Ashok Chandra Panda Ekarma-Bhubaneswar.

The election will also witness senior and veteran leaders like Mr Bhrtuhari Mahatab contesting the Cuttack Lok Sabha seat on BJD ticket against former Odisha DGP Pakash Mishra , former Odisha Works Secretary and BJD nominee Nalinikanta Pradhan contesting the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, sitting BJD MP Pinaki Mishra locking horn with BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra for Puri Lok Sabha seat.

The Bhubaneswar LoK Sabha seat will witness a tough fight as former IAS officer Aparajita Sharangi(BJP) is locking horns with former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik(BJD).The Congress had supported the candidature Janardan Pati ( CPM) in the seat.

In the Assembly election, the fate of government deputy chief whip Rohit Pujari (Rairakhol), former Minister Sanjay Kumar Dasburma (Brahmagiri), former minister Arun Kumar Sahu (Nayagarha). Senior BJD leader and former Minister Debi Prasad Mishra's (Badamba) fate will be decided in tomorrow’s ballots.

With Congress lagging far behind in poll campaigning , Political observers here said this time the battle for ballots would be confined mostly between the BJD and the BJP in most of the seats.

All eyes are on Ghasipura Assembly seat in Keonjhar district where the BJD has fielded School and Mass Education Minister Badrinarayan Patra against Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik.

Kamakhyanagar and Parjang Assembly constituencies where Mines and Industry Minister Prafull Kumar Mallik and Commerce and Transport Minister Nrusingh Charan Sahu are also the focus of the people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah had conducted road shows and addressed election meetings in support of party candidates.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari,Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also visited several constituencies to campaign for party candidates.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Odisha Pradesh Congress President Niranjan Patnaik also made extensive campaigns and joined road shows in different places in favour of their respective party candidates.

The ruling BJD campaign, spearheaded by party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, mainly focused on central negligence and conspiracy to block the kalia scheme launched by the government for the welfare of the farmers in the state, the BJP leaders made scathing attack on Naveen Patnaik government for encouraging mining mafias and protecting the Chit fund scamster and called for a change of the government.

On the other hand, the Congress witnessed a lacklustre campaign as no central leaders visited the state for electioneering.

The party ,however, tagetted both the BJP and the BJD describing them as “anti farmer and anti poor” .

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