Bhubaneswar, Oct 01: With the political temperature rising in the communally sensitive Kandhamal district after parties hit the campaign trail for the Lok Sabha by-polls, the Odisha unit of the Congress party has decided to raise the twin issues of communalism and corruption issues during the electioneering to counter the BJP and the ruling BJD.
'We will fight against the communal BJP and the corrupt BJD in the election. We will take the two issues to the people of Kandhamal. While the saffron party is a communal force, the ruling party is neck-deep in corruption starting from land scam, discretionary quota allocation scam and more importantly the chit fund scam being currently inquired by CBI,' said PCC president Jaydev Jena.
When asked about the BJD fielding Pratyusha Rajeswari, the widow of previous MP Hemendra Singh, to get sympathy votes, Jena said the people would not accept her as she does not have any link with the district. 'The BJD candidate is a foreign import. She belongs to Nepal and she does not know Odia, a medium to communicate among the people. So, there is no way the people would accept her and the corrupt party she represents,' said Jena.
The PCC president also hit out at the BJP for fielding an imported BJD leader, against whom dalit atrocity cases have been lodged. 'BJP candidate Rudramadhav Ray hated the dalits and Adivasis while he was a BJD MP from the constituency. Several atrocity cases have also been lodged against him for his act,' said the Congress president.
Presuming that BJP would make the assassination of Hindu leader Laxmananada Saraswati a poll plank, he said the people would not buy the words of the communal party as the power starving party did not break its alliance with the BJD on the issue and remained in power till the 2009 elections.
Pitching hard for Congress candidate Abhimanyu Behera, he said the party had fielded a son of soil who was a known face in the constituency as a former MLA.
The party has appointed 150 leaders in the Lok Sabha constituency to oversee the election campaign. In order to manage the election, the party has deployed a senior leader as the coordinator, two MLAs, one vice president, two general secretaries and four secretaries in each of the seven Assembly constituencies coming under Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency. Besides, it has engaged some leaders, who got defeated in 2014 elections at a whisker.