As the last phase of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha drew closer, political heavyweights crisscrossed the constituencies going to polls on April 17.
Bigwigs of different political parties are touring the 11 Lok Sabha and 77 Assembly seats, located mostly in coastal and north Odisha, to woo voters. Odisha is holding Assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections.
Besides organising road shows, street corner meetings and big rallies, political parties are using high-tech gadgets to reach the people, while many candidates are making door-to-door visits to impress the electorate. Those in the fray are also roping in star campaigners of their respective political parties.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who campaigned extensively for party candidates in the first phase of polls, is scheduled to address an election rally at Jagatsinghpur on Monday.
Similarly, Congress President Sonia Gandhi held an election rally at Khariar on April 5 and addressed two public meetings at Balasore and Baripada on April 11.
For the BJP, its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed three election rallies at Balasore, Keonjhar and Talcher during his marathon tour on April 11. The Gujarat chief minister had earlier campaigned at Nuapada, Balangir and Rourkela for the first phase of polling in 10 Lok Sabha and 70 assembly seats.
Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has been addressing ten election rallies everyday for the regional party.
Adding glamour and glitz to the high voltage campaign, a number of cine stars have also jumped into the campaign trail to brighten the poll prospects of different parties.
The ruling BJD has roped in several cine stars including Anubhav Mohanty, Mihir Mohanty, Satyaki Mishra and veteran Mahasweta Ray who are attracting good crowds.
Actor-politician Sidhant Mohapatra is campaigning for BJD nominees as election in his Berhampur Lok Sabha segment was over in the first phase.
Congress has fielded two popular film stars - Bijaya Mohanty and Aparajita Mohanty - in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack constituencies respectively. Film star Babusan, son of Uttam and Aparajita Mohanty, is doing his bit in the campaigns.
Leaders whose political fortunes would be decided during the April 17 voting include Congress stalwart and Union minister Srikanta Jena and industrialist-turned-politician Baijayant Panda who are contesting from Balasore and Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Jaydev Jena is trying his luck from the Anandpur Assembly constituency in Keonjhar district.