Voters of Kandhamal district aspire to have candidates from their area for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency during coming elections.
It may be noted that Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency came into existence in 2008, following the implementation of delimitation of parliamentary constituencies based on the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission of India. Earlier areas of undivided Kandhamal district were part of Phulbani parliamentary constituency.
According to Sadashiv Patra, a resident of Phulbani in Kandhamal district, major political parties should give importance to desire of Kandhamal district which has got identified as a parliamentary constituency for the first time and field candidates from this district.
“Only a person from Kandhamal district can understand the aspirations and problems of this underdeveloped communally volatile area,” said Santosh Biswal of Baliguda in Kandhamal district. The reconstructed Kandhamal parliamentary constituency has seven Assembly segments.
They are Phulbani, G.Udaygiri and Baliguda in Kandhamal district, Boudh and Kantamal in Boudh district, Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district and Dasapalla in Nayagarh district.
It may be noted that the last MP of Phulbani parliamentary constituency was Rudramadhav Ray of the BJD from Nayagarh district.
None of the major political parties like the ruling BJD, Congress or the BJP have officially declared names of their candidates for this constituency.
But according to sources, the Congress is considering the name of veteran leader Harihar Karan, who hails from Dasapalla area in Nayagarh district. Senior BJP leader Ashok Sahu is aspiring to contest from Kandhamal parliamentary seat. He is considered an outsider by the inhabitants of Kandhamal.
A series of names are being heard to be in race for the BJD ticket for this seat.
They include State Minister Arun Sahu, who again hails from Nayagarh district as well as former MP Mr. Ray.