Chief minister Naveen Patnaik campaigns at Hinjili on Thursday. Picture by Gopal Krishna Reddy
Bhubaneswar/Berhampur Sept. 5: Chants of vikas purush (development man) rent the air as chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched his party’s campaign for civic polls from his karmabhumi (workplace).
BJD activists today gave chief minister Naveen a rousing reception as he kicked-off his party’s campaign from Hinjili, his Assembly constituency, in Ganjam district.
As Naveen’s motorcade passed through, people welcomed him by placing purna kumbhas (earthen pots filled with rice and flower) on the roads.
Buoyed by the presence of large number of cadres and supporters on his home turf, Naveen said: “Hinjili is my karmabhumi, and I am very happy to launch my election campaign for the September 19 civic polls from here.”
Hitting the campaign trail, Naveen spoke in Odia at roadside meetings at Sana Sahi, Regidi Square, Block Colony, Bada Rangani Sahi, Gopabandhu Marg and Ankuda.
In each meeting, he appealed to the people to vote for BJD candidates and stressed the need for a unity among the party workers.
For the BJD, the urban polls are an opportunity to test the popularity of their leader as parliamentary and Assembly elections are to be held next year.
Describing the voters as pillars of democracy, Naveen said they should vote for the right representatives, who could play a pivotal role in development of the local areas. “We will do very well in the coming urban polls,” said Naveen.
The chief minister waved at the people and used every opportunity to mingle with local residents.
Later, Naveen campaigned for his candidates at Balugaon and Banpur in Khurda district.
While Naveen has taken on the battle gear, the Congress has already started informal meetings with its party workers at various places. “We will officially launch the campaign from Jajpur Road on September 8. We have requested many leaders from other states to campaign for Odisha. Union minister of state for tourism and film star Chiranjeevi has already confirmed to canvass for the party’s candidates,” said Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena.
In the Telugu-speaking areas of southern Odisha, Chiranjeevi has a huge fan following.
In another development, state election commissioner Ajit Tripathy today urged the state government to take steps to bring back normalcy in western Odisha, where the elections to the urban bodies have been deferred.
“The election date for the urban bodies will be announced after normality is restored,” said a commission official. The poll body has appointed 18 observers to ensure a smooth election.