Sunday, July 12, 2009

BJP to use Kandhamal for expanding its base in Southern Orissa-Coastal Andhra

By Sai Prasan

Kandhamal, April 18

BJP plans to expand its political base in Southern Orissa and Coastal Andhra by using the Kandhamal issue to the maximum. BJP candidate Ashok Sahu may loose Phulbani Lok Sabha seat to BJD candidate Rudramadhav Ray in the poll held on April 16th, but he plans to have a door-to-door visit after the announcement of the results for Lok Sabha and State Assembly poll as an exercise for the possible mid-term poll after two years.

In an hour long interaction through an informal channel, just before getting the bail from a district court on Friday, Sahu, lodged at G Udaygiri jail of Phulbani district, said that he is confident of winning this election. But, he also conceded that BJD candidate Rudramadhav Ray is at a advantageous position as the ruling party had been contesting the Parliamentary and six out of the seven assembly seats in Phulbani Lok Sabha constituency in the previous two elections. “BJP is organizationally not strong as it had contested only Baliguda assembly constituency in the previous poll”, he said.

It may be mentioned here that Christian voters numbering around 3,000, staying in the refugee camps in the Phulbani district, could able to cast their vote. But, a large number of Christians staying outside the district could not cast their vote because of the fear psychosis. Even Sahu also accepted the fact that the participation of Christian voters’, living outside the district, is limited. However, he claimed that he enjoys the support of Baptist Christians in the district.
Sahu said irrespective of the poll out come, any government both at the Centre and State will not be stable. A coalition government may be formed both at the Centre and State. Congress supporting BJD in forming a government in the state can not be ruled out, he said.

But, Sahu said that the mid-term poll is imminent in the next two and half years. “We will carry door to door campaign after the announcement of the current elections for the next poll”. Security forces have arrested innocent people in the recent Hindu and Christian riots. Old age people and children were also not spared. The anger is simmering among Hindus of the district due to the atrocities committed by the security forces on them, he said.

On the possible Maoist attack on him, Sahu said that he is prepared to face any challenge as he has faced similar threat in the past as a police officer from the militants in North-east region.

Sahu lamented that the security cover has been withdrawn just five days before the murder of Swami Laxmanand Saraswati and the state government is yet to explain the reason for this decision. “There seems to be a big conspiracy behind the murder of Swami-ji that needs to be probed,” he said.

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