Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik and almost all the senior leaders of the party were set to embark on a hectic campaign to woo the voters in different urban local bodies.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal, which is eyeing a fourth consecutive term in power in the State, is now striving to win the forthcoming urban local body polls scheduled to be held on September 19.

Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik and almost all the senior leaders of the party were set to embark on a hectic campaign to woo the voters in different urban local bodies.

The party has already prepared a list of 41 star campaigners, including Mr. Patnaik, who was scheduled to start his campaign from the Hinjili Notified Area Council on Thursday.

Mr. Patnaik was leaving no stone unturned to secure a majority in maximum n umber of urban local bodies since outcome of the municipal polls has a bearing on the party’s performance in the Assembly polls next year.

As many as 66 urban local bodies were to go to the polls after polls in 25 urban local bodies spread over nine districts in western Odisha were put on hold after the filing of nomination papers were affected due to an agitation demanding establishment of a permanent bench of the High Court in the western region of the State.

Since the BJD was suffering from infighting between warring factions in many urban local body areas, Mr. Patnaik has been holding meetings with different leaders to put his house in order.

Acting tough on the dissidents, Mr. Patnaik placed several leaders of party under suspension for anti-party activities on Wednesday. As many as six leaders were suspended from the party in Dhenkanal, Khurda and Pattamundai urban local bodies, the party said.

No easy going

Things, however, was not going to be easy for the BJD as main opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party had also decided to start poll campaign on a massive scale by involving many senior leaders.

The Congress was planning to invite several Union Ministers, including Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, to campaign in support of the party nominees in various urban local bodies.

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