Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Laxmipur has delivered its verdict: BJD is worse than the Congress.

Result of the by-election to Orissa Assembly from this constituency, held because of midterm death of Congress MLA Anantram Majhi, has come out today.

Congress has retained the seat through Anant’s son Purnachandra Majhi, who was deliberately planted in anticipation of sympathy support, which is a marked phenomenon in Indian politics.

Congress is very jubilant over this victory, specifically as, it has not only effected defeat of the candidate of the ruling BJD in whose favor Chief Minister Navin Patnaik had led an unprecedented expensive campaign, but also, being the last occasion to test voters’ tilt before general elections, it looks like having ingredients to build up self-confidence and solidarity amongst its wrangling leaders and demoralized rank and file.

But a study of the scenario would lead us to see that the jubilation in the Congress camp is misconceived and misplaced. People have not voted in Congress favor.

As we have already predicted, Congress can never win with Man Mohan Singh as Prime Minister. He has ruined the country by forcing on us USA motives and the resultant degradation of our masses. So, people in Laxmipur have not voted for Congress.

The Congress candidate has won; not the Congress.

In order to understand this phenomenon, understanding only two aspects of the Congress side of the scenario may help. First, planting of the candidate and second, reaping of the result.

The candidate was the son of the deceased MLA.

In planting the son of the deceased MLA, the Congress had only confirmed that as a political party it had forfeited peoples’ confidence and so, it had no chance of winning.

With this perception, it had planted Purnachandra, son of the deceased MLA Anantram.

There was no dearth of senior leaders of the locality in Congress. So there was no dearth of suitable candidates. But because there was blatant absence of confidence in the party, it could not dare to plant any of them.

Congress knew that the wretchedness, to which pro-American economic policy of Prime Minister Singh has pushed our peoples into, would stand as the greatest barrier to generate votes.

But it has the experience and expertise in converting obituary sympathy of the peoples into votes as was seen in Rajiv’s vote catching following Indira’s death or in its gaining massive majority following Rajiv’s assassination. So, selection and planting of Purnachandra, son of the deceased MLA, was calculatedly finalized with an eye on obituary sympathy in Laxmipur.

Purna won because of the sympathy factor. Had his father not died midterm, he could not have attracted sympathy and could never have won. Had this bereft son of the deceased MLA not been planted as the candidate, no other candidate of Congress could have won. So, Purna’s victory is not Congress victory.

It is clear that in total despair due to anti-people policies of Prime Minister Singh, the voters of Laxmipur have conspicuously registered their resentment against Congress by drastically reducing their traditional support for it. Otherwise, despite the sympathy wave, Purna’s victory could not have been so meager. He has won by only 484 votes. His father had won with more than 14 thousand margin in the last general election. In the same election, BSP had bagged around 15 thousand votes despite presence of electoral wave in favor of Navin Patnaik. And in this election it has directed its support to the Congress.

So these voters, who despite presence of a wave in favor of Navin had marked their votes against him in the last election, were the persons who should have marked their votes against Navin’s candidate this time too.

Had it happened, the Congress candidate should have won with a margin of around 30 thousands. But this has not happened.

This indicates that the peoples have not supported the Congress. They have not supported the Congress because of the anti-people policies of Prime Minister Singh

But how then the Congress candidate could win? He could win, because, otherwise it could have been our peoples’ expression of approval of Navin’s misrule. To our people Navin Patnaik is worse than Man Mohan Singh.

The way Navin electioneered in Laxmipur was viewed by the local public as a blot on democracy. He being the Chief Minister unleashed a hate campaign against the Union Government in stark disregard to national integration and tried to overwhelm the rural electors by pressing into campaign a team of eleven of his ministers and as many as 47 MLAs of the ruling alliance. He tried to make people awestruck by blitzkrieg of campaigning in copters and by making them see how the officers of the area who rule over the people were at his beck and call. He electioneered in such a fashion that democracy looked as if subdued by autocracy in that rural constituency where 90 percent inhabitants are illiterate. He shed meretricious tears over the plight of the people who have been perishing under continuous slow starvation sans land and livelihood when he is single-mindedly busy in handing over Orissa’s land and mines and natural assets to non-Oriya business operators and swindlers. His dazzling campaign that poured down at least 10 crores of Rupees into electioneering in this constituency, where cholera due to loss of immunity under continuous slow starvation extinguished hundreds of life last year, made people conscious of the quantum of corruption his government must have been involved with in order to arm BJD with the huge election funds.

People came to the conclusion that Navin Patnaik is worse than Man Mohan Singh.

They decided to teach him a lesion.

They stamped their kicks of disapproval on the face of Navin’s campaign by refusing to elect his candidate and conversely therefore, they decided to elect the Congress candidate with as small a margin as possible.

As they also disapprove the anti-people policies of Man Mohan Singh, they refused to grant Congress a grand victory. The Congress candidate got elected on the border of defeat.

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