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Political bigwigs on campaign trail

Correspondent

New Opposition leader canvasses for Congress candidates

CUTTACK: As campaigning for the February 6 Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) elections gathers momentum, bigwigs of major political parties have started joining the campaign trail to woo voters in favour of their candidates.

Congress, the major opposition party in the State, is now taking lead role in this direction after the party workers feel rejuvenated in the aftermath of change of guard in Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC). Hitting the roads for the first time after being appointed State Opposition leader, Ulaka Ramachandra on Wednesday canvassed for the party candidates in the city.

Ulaka, who replaced J B Patnaik recently, toured the slum areas of Ward Numbers 1, 2 and 3 on Wednesday along with party candidates and city Congress chief Suresh Mohapatra. Making a fervent appeal to slum dwellers, the senior tribal leader urged them to vote for the Congress candidates and give an opportunity to the party to form the council.

‘Elated’

“We are also going to rope in new PCC chief K P Singh Deo and the three newly appointed Working Presidents of the party to campaign in Cuttack for next month’s civic poll,” said Mr. Mohapatra adding that the party workers were now elated over the change of guard in PCC.

On the other hand BJD, which appears ahead of all other parties in initial rounds of campaigning, is banking on its star campaigner and party supremo Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to further boost the morale of the candidates and party workers. Mr. Patnaik is scheduled to hit the campaign trail on Saturday and move around all the 54 wards in three days of continuous campaigning.

“Besides the CM, other senior party leaders like ministers Prafulla Ghadei, Surya Narayan Patro, Pramila Mallick and Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra would also campaign for the party candidates”, informed Cuttack Sadar legislator Pravat Biswal. Biswal along with his wife and Cuttack Zilla parishad president Laxmi Bilasini are the main campaigners for the party candidates in at least 27 wards of CMC located in Sadar areas.

BJP too is not lagging behind in engaging its star campaigners as almost all the party Ministers in the State Cabinet are likely to join the campaign trail. “Besides the ministers, other party leaders like Kharavela Swain and Dharmendra Pradhan would visit the city from Sunday onwards”, informed the city BJP president Pradeep Swain.

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