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Poll chariot rolls, city chokes
326 nominations filed on final day

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 20: On the last day of filing nominations for the municipal corporation polls, the city witnessed a large number of colourful processions.

The spectacle of democracy, however, threw the traffic haywire with policemen at the Powerhouse Square struggling to regulate the flow of vehicles carrying candidates and their supporters.

Some of the nearby areas including Rabindra Mandap, 120 Battalion Square and the Governor House square also witnessed traffic jams.

Today, 326 nominations were filed taking the total count to 451.

Among those who filed their papers were social activist Linkan Subuddhi, who shot into limelight recently after being attacked in Delhi and hospitalised for trying to resist a child marriage from taking place, and Pritinanda Routray, the daughter of health minister Damodar Rout. Both are BJD candidates.

Apart from showing their strength near the ADM’s office, the candidates were seen holding big rallies in their respective wards. They appeared to be unmindful of the inconvenience being caused to the general public. Most of the candidates taking out rallies belonged to the BJD.

Traffic police officials said they had deployed their men at important junctions to divert vehicles and make things smooth for the commuters. Besides, barricades were set up at many places on the road leading to the ADM office.

Linkan, who was stabbed in Delhi on September 19, will contest the polls as a BJD candidate from ward No. 8. Pritinanda has filed her papers to contest from ward no 6.

“I had suffered neurological damages in the Delhi attack and I am recovering slowly. As BJD leaders have faith in me and I have a background as a social activist, I hope to be able to serve the people as a councillor,” Linkan said.

Pritinanda, a resident of Sailashree Vihar HIG area, said: “Being from a political family, I will emphasise on social service but addressing major civic issues such as bad roads and the drainage system will be my priority.”

A documentary filmmaker by profession and a singer with All India Radio and Doordarshan, Pritinanda has recorded more than 20 songs for Odia films.

Former councillors Seikh Nizammudin, Chhabi Das, Lala Ashok Kumar Ray, Hrudaya Ballabh Samantaray, Naba Kishore Behera, Deepak Kumar Mohapatra and a member from the lesbians-gay-bisexual and transgender community Madhavi also filed their papers today.

Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) Pyari Mohan Mohapatra today said that his supporters would launch a door-to-door campaign against the BJD candidates. Senior BJD leader and chairman of the party’s candidate selection committee Kalpataru Das said: “OJM had earlier announced to contest the civic polls in west Odisha, but could not do that. If they lobby for the Opposition candidates, the candidates will lose their deposits.”