Odisha government to issue notification for urban bodies polls, parties geared for Elections
Friday, August 09, 2013
Odisha government to issue notification for urban bodies polls, parties geared for Elections
Bhubaneswar: Odisha government to issue notification for much awaited urban local bodies (ULBs) polls. The state Election Commission likely to issue notification on Monday.

Elections to 90 municipalities and Notified Area Councils have to be completed before September 29. The government has decided to conduct elections to the Berhampur Municipal Corporation together with elections to these 91 ULBs.

According to sources, the SEC is likely to call an all party meeting on August 12 to finalise the dates for the ULB elections.

With this announcement different parties are geared up for this election. As they will be held barely some months ahead of the general elections for the State Assembly and the Lok Sabha. The outcomes of the urban polls are expected to give sufficient indications about what the fates of the parties will be in the general elections.

While the ruling BJD has left no stone unturned prior to the urban polls, it is a major challenge for newly-appointed Congress State president Jayadev Jena as the performance of Congress candidates in these polls may decide whether Jena would continue in the post or not.

Though the case is not similar for BJP State president K V Singh Deo, the polls are equally important for the saffron party, which expects a lot from his leadership in its preparations for the general elections.

Taking the urban polls seriously, especially after his dissociation from erstwhile BJD strategist Pyarimohan Mohapatra, party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been feverishly inducting popular faces like film star Anubhav Mohanty particularly to woo young voters.

Patnaik has also made it almost a daily practice to announce populist welfare measures for different classes of people. The latest announcements include extension of the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana to more people and several sops for the urban youths under the State Youth Policy.

The CM has also made announcements to woo other sections of urban residents, particularly in slums. He has not only stopped encroachments by slum dwellers but has also offered housing schemes for them.

However, the spread of dengue in almost all the urban centres of the State may pose hurdles before the BJD. Residents of major cities like Cuttack and Puri are angry over the manner the sanitation is being maintained in these urban areas. Though slum dwellers may support the BJD for  Government’s cheap rice scheme and some other populist programmes, the elite mass in towns seems in no mood to excuse the ruling party.

Since the BJD is already in power for over 13 years, there is no excuse for it for the several governance and other lapses, while the same yardstick may not be applicable to the major opposition parties, the Congress and the BJP.

The Congress, which has earlier announced its decision to organise a Rahul Gandhi-addressed rally in Bhubaneswar, may get electoral benefits as it comes during the urban polls.

The BJP is expected to rope in some party leaders from Delhi to campaign for it in the urban polls. The party will launch its “Youth for Modi” campaign from the Kranti Divas (August 9) as part of the party’s national drive to woo young voters.
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