Bhubaneswar,14/05/19: Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik is heading towards a landslide victory in 2019 Assembly polls. While the popular schemes like PITHA, KALIA, BIJU YUVA BAHINI played well ahead of the election, his ‘Women’ card can be considered the most successful game-plan. He wanted to ride on the crest of “women power” to win for the fifth successive term in office and it exactly hit on the target.
Naveen fielded Pramila Bisoi, a 70-year-old woman from Aska Lok Sabha seat. The decision wondered many in the constituency. She was dropped out of school after Class II and speaks only Berhampuri dialect of Odia. However, this could not become a hindrance for her. At this point of time, she is leading with more than one lakh fifty thousand votes in the constituency.
Rajashree Mallick, another woman candidate from BJD, who is contesting for Jagatsingpur Lok Sabha seat is now leading with one lakh seventy thousand votes.
Sarmistha Sethy fielded by BJD for Jajpur Lok Sabha seat is at this moment leading with almost one lakh votes.
Chandrani Murmu, contesting for Keonjhar Lok Sabha seat, who is the junior most Lok Sabha candidate in Odisha is at this moment leading with more than 50 thousand votes.
Kousalya Hikaka, fielded by BJD from Koraput Lok Sabha seat is at present leading with 8000 votes.
Manjulata Mandal, contesting on BJD ticket from Bhadrak Lok Sabha seat is leading with 30 thousand votes.
The only woman candidate who could not play well is Sunita Biswal, daughter of Congress leader Hemanand Biswal. She has been fielded for the Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat where BJP’s Jual Oram is leading with around 50 thousand votes.
Patnaik who said he was taking a first step towards reserving seats for women, had nominated seven women in 21 of Odisha’s Lok Sabha seats.
While in the 2000 and 2004 elections, the BJD was a part of the NDA, it was in 2009 that it parted ways with the BJP and fought on his own and won.
Astonishingly, in 2014, when Modi wave was at its best, BJD successfully came up with 117 seats in the assembly polls. But in 2019, things were different. This time it was a tough job for both BJD and Naveen Patnaik. Perhaps Patnaik knew it well and wanted to come up with an invincible strategy and played the ‘Women’ card.
He was well aware of the hardship and planned his strategy almost a year in advance. He worked on the women empowerment plank with over 70 lakh women enrolled under the ‘Mission Shakti’ programme.
Ahead of the election notification, Naveen Patnaik held a series of Mission Shakti meetings in different parts of the state. Later, he went on to announce and pick seven women candidates (33 per cent) of the 21 LS seats in the state.
And finally, BJD is heading towards a landslide victory thanks to his unbeatable ‘Women’ card.