By Ashis Senapati, Kendrapada: The farming community, in West Bengal voted against the Left Front government in the poll as the government had acquired land or tried to form industries by acquiring farm lands. In Nandigram, Singur and other parts of West Bengal, the Left has been given a strong message by the electorate in the election. But in contrary, Kalingnagar of Jajpur district in Orissa , where 14 tribals had been killed by the police three years back , voters voted in favour of the ruling BJD .
That the acquisition of lands for purposes industrial is not acceptable to the farming community in Bengal became abundantly clear as the Left front lost in the election. But large numbers of voters including many tribals of Kalinganagar where land acquisition has become a contentious issue elected BJD leader and finance minister Prafulla Ghadei as the MLA of Sukinda by defeating Congress candidate Sarat Rout. Even in Balikuda- Earasama assembly seat under the Dhinkia Gram Panchayat, voters elected BJD candidate Prasanta Mudali a greenhorn by defeating veteran congress candidate Umesh Swain.
“The Congress made a sizable dent in Sukinda areas after the killing of tribals. But the congress party failed to garner more votes to win the election due to two kilogram rice scheme and other developmental works of BJD government”, said Sankarsan Kandi a villager of Chandia village near Kalinganagar.
“Kalinganagar is where Tata is building its steel plant and many steel and other plants are coming up opened doors for many unemployed youths to get jobs for which the majority of voters in these areas seem to have sent a strong message in favour of BJD , for the first time where an industrial issue has become a positive factor in the polls”, said Mohan Jena the BJD MP of Jajpur.
In Singur, where the Trinamool Congress had sided with farmers and opposed the Tata Motors factory, the party defeated Left front candidate. But in Kalinganagar voters overwhelmingly supported the industrialization and voted in favour of BJD, said Rabi Samal a BJD leader of Kendrapada.
“The main opposition party , Congress failed to rake up the land acquisition issues in the election . CPM and CPI were strongly opposing BJD government ‘s industrial policy . But before the polls, both Left parties formed an alliance with BJD to defeat BJP and Congress in the state . In Kalingnagar and Dhinkia areas Left parties were the frontrunner to organize the people against the TATA and POSCO . But their decision to support BJD also helped to BJD to win the election in the state”, said Sishir Mohapatra a land-acquisition leader and the general secretary of POSCO Pratirodhaka Sangram Samiti (PPSS) of Dhinkia village.
“ In Sukinda, BJD candidate and finance minister Prafulla Ghadei won the election by defeating me by a slender margin of 2404 votes. BJD candidate spent crores of rupees and rigged election in many booths for which BJD managed to win in Sukinda . Large numbers of anti-land acquisition villagers of Kalinganagar and its nearby areas voted in favour of me ”, said Sarat Rout the Congress candidate of Sukinda.
Prafulla Samantray a social worker and the president Lokshakti Abhijan stated ” The majority people of Kalinganagar,, Dhinkia, Langigada, Kashipur and Niyamagiri areas voted against the BJD. Voters of Kalahandi elected Congress candidate Bhakta Das as the member of parliament of Kalahandi because Das has been fighting to protect the Niyamagiri hillock from Vedanta. Vedanta Alumina industry has been trying to acquire Niyamagiri hillock since long. In Langigada BJD candidate Balabhadra Majhi also lost the election at the hand of Congress candidate Shivaji Majhi. Mamata led the anti-land acquisation movement in West Bengal. But in Orissa, sundry political parties did not take any steps to organise any movement against big companies and BJD for which BJD won in the election"
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