The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhubaneswar, Nov. 26: Sanchita Mohanty, the chairperson of Orissa State Cooperative Coir Corporation, has never won an election. The last Assembly election in 2000 saw her losing from Korei constituency despite a strong Vajpayee wave.

Nevertheless, the party has employed her to woo Oriyas in Delhi, one of the five states going to polls next week.

Mohanty’s party colleague and chairperson of the state BJP Mahila Morcha, Surama Padhi, and the state Social Welfare Advisory Board chairperson, Pravati Parida, also have the same task cut out for them.

As the five states go to polls next week, the Orissa BJP is busy providing men and muscle to the party’s electoral campaign in other states, though many of its campaigners are yet to win an election for themselves.

With polls prospects looking bleak in Chhattisgarh and Delhi, some 300 Orissa BJP leaders have moved in to these two states to boost the local campaign.

So much so that the normally crowded BJP office near Ram Mandir square here looks deserted these days.

While the likes of Mohanty and Padhi are campaigning with stars like Smriti Z. Iraani, (known for playing Tulsi Virani in the soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi), the rest of the Orissa BJP brass is in full strength in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Led by state BJP president and Rajya Sabha member Manmohan Samal, several leaders and legislators from western Orissa are criss-crossing the state to tilt the balance in favour of Dilip Singh Judeo, currently in the midst of the cash-on-disc scam.

Samal, who in the last Assembly poll in 2000 lost to an Independent candidate despite a high-voltage campaign by L.K. Advani and A.B. Vajpayee, is leading the charge to mobilise support for Judeo.

Assisting him are Prasanna Mishra, the state BJP organising secretary, and Dharmendra Pradhan, the party’s national secretary and MLA from Pallahara constituency. “Judeo would win hands down. You have to see the adulation to believe it,” claimed Pradhan from Mahasamund district, shortly after addressing a meeting with Judeo.

But for Mohanty, Padhi and Parida, it could prove to be a bumpy ride trying to revive the sagging fortunes of Madanlal Khurana.

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