A pall of gloom descended on abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka's family and his Laxmipur constituency in Koraput district.
"My husband never harmed anyone. He has been working for the welfare of tribals and I appeal to the Maoists to free him without causing him any harm," pleaded his wife, Kaushalaya.
The 37-year-old MLA's aged parents and two minor sons at his home at Dumuripadar village are also worried.
"Hikaka is always available for tribals. He is always very energetic to mitigate the problems of poor villagers in this backward area," said Ranjan Das, one of his close associates, speaking about the soft-spoken legislator who was kidnapped yesterday.
His popularity had brought him to the notice of the BJD bosses, who gave him the party ticket in the 2009 Assembly elections.
Hikaka created a political sensation in his maiden election by drubbing Hema Gamang (Congress), the former Laxmipur MLA and wife of former chief minister Giridhar Gamang.
Before becoming a lawmaker, Hikaka had worked as a community organiser in the watershed department of Koraput's Laxmipur block that he now represnts.
For a brief period, the first-time legislator worked as a reporter in a vernacular daily.