I have an emotional attachment with the millennium city, he says

Naveen campaigns in 15 wards located under Cuttack Sadar Assembly segment

Scheduled to continue the programme for three more days

CUTTACK: Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik on Saturday made a whirlwind visit to Cuttack city and canvassed for party candidates for the forthcoming Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) polls. Visiting the city for the first time for campaigning, Mr. Patnaik moved across in as many as 15 wards located under Cuttack Sadar Assembly segment.

The BJD president is scheduled to campaign in the city for three more days to cover all the wards of the civic body. Party ministers Prafulla Ghadei, S N Patro and Pramila Mallick and other party leaders like Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Prabhat Tripathy and R P Singh are also scheduled to campaign for the party candidates.

On Saturday, legislators Pravat Biswal and Dharmananda Behera accompanied Mr. Patnaik along with the party candidates. Speaking to reporters in the midst of campaigning, Mr. Patnaik hoped his party would win the civic polls with thumping victory and would form the next Council.

Addressing the gathering in at least six places, Mr. Patnaik said he had an emotional attachment with the millennium city for the city is his birthplace. “My government has always attached top priority for the development of the city”, Mr. Patnaik said at almost all the gathering urging people to vote for the party candidates. Following Mr. Patnaik’s visit, his party workers appear more recharged and the BJD candidates feel elated.

However, opposition Congress and BJP feel “Naveen Magic” would not work in Cuttack city. “The CM had also made similar effort before 2003 civic poll and BJD came third in the outcome,” said BJP city unit chief Pradeep Swain.

Congress also feels that Mr. Naveen Patnaik is no star attraction in Cuttack. “The city has suffered a lot during the past two terms under BJD-BJP rule,” says Congress city secretary Sasi Bhusan Das. Instead, the Congress would win in at least 35 wards and form the Council, Mr. Das hoped.

The Congress and CPI(M) on Friday released their party manifestoes, both promising to provide corrupt-free and vibrant council if voted to power.

Releasing the party’s 22-point manifesto, city Congress chief Suresh Mohapatra hoped that people this time would definitely give Congress a chance to form the council. “Congress will focus on sewerage, drinking water, roads and lights and other civic amenities if voted to power”.

The CPI(M) on the other hand stressed preparing a master plan for the city keeping an eye on the next hundred years. Party city unit secretary Subash Singh said if United Front was voted to power, the corporators would demand inclusion of the city in Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission.