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Behera Jr banks on father

Cuttack, April 4: Chandrasarathi Behera is working over time moving from panchayat to panchayat for workers’ meets, rallies and local meetings. His campaigning starts before 7am, and by the time it ends for the day, it is nearly 10pm.

For the one-time BJD MLA, the Cuttack-Sadar (reserved) constituency is a litmus test.

In 2009, he had won from Salepur under Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat. Now, he is contesting from the adjoining Cuttack-Sadar under Cuttack Lok Sabha constituency as his party wanted him to retain the seat which his father Kalindi Behera, a senior BJD leader, had won last time.

Plus Two educated Junior Behera seems to have learnt fast to bat cautiously on the new turf. “Support and teamwork of partymen at the grassroots level has helped me know within a short time my new constituency and its problems. Other developments remain to be executed. So, I am asking them to give me a chance to complete the unfinished works undertaken by my father,” Chandrasarathi said today.

“I expect the voters to give the same response they had given to my father in 2009, as I am young and already have experience as an MLA. More so, I represent a party known for the clean image of its leader Naveen Patnaik and his good governance,” he said.

BJP candidate Dilip Mallick, a 45-year-old law graduate, feels his party is better placed this time in a triangular contest with the BJD and the Congress.

“There is an undercurrent of anti-incumbency against the BJD as the sitting MLA, Kalindi Behera, had neglected the constituency. No tangible development was started — be it roads, river embankment or canal irrigation — in the past five years,” said Mallick.

He contested as a BJP candidate in 2009 and secured 15,407 votes.

“The focus of my campaign is urging the voters to give me a chance to serve them instead of promoting family politics,” said Mallick, who had been concentrating on house-to-house campaign.

The Congress has fielded new candidate Chandrasekhar Samal as senior party leader and secretary of the All India Mahila Congress Ashima Mahananda, who had contested from here in 2009, died last year. Samal, a 41-year-old graduate, is a Cuttack zilla parishad member from Mahanga block. “In my campaigns, I am trying to focus on the apathy of the BJD government towards Cuttack-Sadar, which has apparently seen no developments,” said Samal, who has been campaigning by way of locality meetings.


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