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Migration, irrigation major issues in Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency

PTI |
May 18, 2024 02:31 PM IST

Migration, irrigation major issues in Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency

Bolangir, A member of the erstwhile royal family, a tribal and a filmstar are contesting from the Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency in western Odisha where migration and irrigation are major issues.

Migration, irrigation major issues in Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency
Migration, irrigation major issues in Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency

The major issue in the Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency is migration and irrigation, said Narasingha Mishra sitting Congress MLA of the Bolangir Assembly segment.

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"The people from here migrate in large numbers as they are unable to get work here. The farmers also face difficulties due to lack of irrigation facilities. The CM recently inaugurated the Lower Suk Tel irrigation project but the water do not reach the tail end," Mishra said "blaming" the 24-year-old BJD government headed by Naveen Patnaik.

The BJP has fielded its sitting MP Sangeeta Singhdeo, a member of the erstwhile Patna royal family in the district again from the seat. Sangeeta's husband K V Singhdeo is a veteran BJP leader.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal's candidate is Surendra Singh Bhoi, a tribal while the Congress nominee is Manoj Mishra, an Odia film actor.

Sangeeta had won the Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2019. A member of the erswhile Patna Royal family in the district has won the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat since 1988. Sangeeta's brother-in-law Kalikesh Singhdeo who is with the BJD had won the seat in 2009 and 2014 but lost to Sangeeta in 2019 by a margin of 19,516 votes.

Sangeeta's father-in-law Raj Raj Singhdeo had won the Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency for two consecutive terms in 1967 and 1971 as a Swatantra Party candidate.

The Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency is important for the BJD as Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is also contesting from the Kantabanji Assembly segment which is one of the seven assembly segments under this parliamentary constituency.

The seven assembly constituencies under Bolangir Lok Sabha seat are Birmaharajpur, Sonepur, Loisingha, Patnagarh, Bolangir, Titlagarh and Kantabanji.

Of the seven assembly seats under Bolangir parliamentary constituency, Congress won two assembly seats in 2019, BJD in four seats and BJP in one.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity will help me to sail through the elections. Being the lone woman candidates, the female voters are in my support. My priority is to arrange jobs for the youths and reduce the migration of people from Bolangir district. The people have blessed me four times and they will continue to do so this time also," said Sangeeta.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have addressed election rallies in Bolangir in support of saffron party candidate Sangeeta Singhdeo.

BJD candidate Surendra Singh Bhoi claimed his victory is a foregone conclusion as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is a candidate from the Kantabanji Assembly segment in Bolangir district.

"BJD government's several welfare schemes like Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana and announcement of free electricity will fetch a good vote for me. This apart, I am also confident that tribals will vote for BJD's Conch symbol as I belonged to their community," said Singh Bhoi.

During the campaign, the BJD leaders claimed that BJP is an "anti-tribal and anti-poor party". It stopped financial assistance for the KBK region and also discontinued the Backward Region Grant Fund, which had aided people here to a large extent in the past.

Manoj Mishra, the Congress candidate, a greenhorn in electoral politics, is optimistic about winning the seat.

"The people are fed up with the BJD and the BJP. They are also frustrated over the works of these royal family members. I will win the seat as a commoner," said Mishra, adding that people still believe in Congress in this part of the state.

The Congress had won the Bolangir Lok Sabha constituency last time in 1996 polls.

Bolangir which has over 18 lakh electorate will go to the polls on May 20.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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