| Naveen Patnaik arrives in Cuttack and (below) the BJD supremo’s convoy at a road show in support of his party’s candidates. Pictures by Badrika Nath Das |
Cuttack, April 12: BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik today reiterated that his party will come to power in Odisha again.
“I am sure that we will do well both in the Assembly and the parliamentary elections in the state,” said Naveen before starting his campaign here today.
He also said the BJD would continue to maintain equal distance from both the Congress and the BJP.
Naveen went on a whirlwind tour of the area, campaigning for party candidates for the second phase polls, scheduled to be held on April 17. All political parties are now racing against time to reach out to as many voters as possible, because only three days are left before campaigning ends on April 15.
Naveen, BJD’s star campaigner, started his road show from Biju Patnaik Chhak here this evening after arriving at Satyabrata Stadium in a helicopter. He covered over 60 prominent areas to garner support for his party MLA candidate Debasish Samantray.
Samantray, who is seeking re-election for the second time, is engaged in a triangular fight with Congress candidate Mohammad Moquim and BJP’s Pradip Swain in the Barabati-Cuttack Assembly constituency.
Naveen also sought votes for MP candidate Bhartuhari Mahatab who is seeking re-election for the fifth time from the Cuttack Lok Sabha seat.
Senior BJD leaders believe that the chief minister’s tour will certainly bolster the party’s strength by ensuring a victory for their candidates by a huge margin.
More than 15 platoons of police were deployed across the city during the chief minister’s visit.
Naveen’s road show was a hit with both the general public and BJD workers greeting the chief minister all along the way. A motorcycle rally by over 1,000 party workers and the Biju Chatra Janta Dal members came together on the occasion to show their strength.
Traffic officials struggled to regulate vehicular traffic that went haywire during the road show at various junctions.
Senior leaders of the party also accompanied the chief minister, who covered Bidanasi, Tulasipur, Deulasahi, CDA, Buxi Bazar, Manisahu Chhak, Darghamastan, Seminary Chhak, Jhola Sahi and other parts under the Barabati-Cuttack Assembly constituency.
Later, Naveen also campaigned for party’s MLA candidate Pravat Ranjan Biswal and conducted a road show in the Choudwar-Cuttack Assembly constituency.
The chief minister went to some 40 places under the Choudwar-Cuttack Assembly constituency and 15 places under Cuttack-Sadar Assembly constituency late this evening before winding up his campaign in the city.