BALASORE, OCT. 29: Aparjita Sarangi, a 1994-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS)-turned politician in Odisha who surprised all by winning the prestigious Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, has been the star attraction of voters in the ongoing Odisha assembly by-polls. The ever smiling, graceful and elegant saree-wearing lady is seen easily mingling with the crowd with consummate ease, striking an instant emotional chord with the people.
In Balasore, while making the door-to-door campaign, she is spending quite substantial time with women, young voters and sharing lighter moments with them. Hailing from a rural background in Bihar and making it to the civil services with a lot of struggle, Ms Sarangi was a strict and firm administrator. She brought many reforms in all the departments she served in different positions in her career. Her reforms in the primary education system shot her to enviable fame and made her familiar household name in the state.
Picked up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself ahead of the 2019 general elections, Aparajita proved that she was a different material. Her strong stand against the alleged “corruption” and “nepotism” and “incompetence” of the ruling BJD made her instantly popular. A meticulous and calculative person as she is, the suave lady never lost her temper and made no mistakes with her interface with the public and media. Speaking chaste Odia is her other forte that instantly connects her with the voters.
“Maa, aame tamaku TV re dekhuchhi, Bahut bhala kahuchha. Tume Bandhia bohu tie. (Dear daughter! We have been watching you on TV shows. You are a well-spoken and goon-mannered lady. You are also a good Odia daughter-in-law),” the rural women in Balasore told her during her campaign in Balasore on Wednesday evening. Some women were also heard describing her as Vanhi Kanya or daughter of fire for her strong voice against the alleged “high-handedness” of ruling BJD on certain issues.
Married to Odia IAS officer Santosh Sarangi, Aparajita is also seen interacting with the street vendors, farmers and people of lower strata of the society. During her campaign, she was seen affectionately putting her arms on the shoulders of shopkeepers and non-regular Class V employees of Balasore Municipality and asking them about their plights and problems and assuring them to take up their causes with the government.
“As an administrator, I have tried to serve the society with the powers and positions that I was entrusted upon in my career. Now, as a people’s representative I get ample opportunity and flexibility to spend more time with the men and women living at the grassroots and raise their causes and concerns in appropriate forums. I share pure love with them and they reciprocate in the same vein,” adds Ms Sarangi.
The BJP strategists landed the lady in the campaign trail several times in Balasore and Tirtol assembly constituencies as her every meeting and road shows pulled swelling crowds. It now remains to be seen how much her popularity fetches votes for her party. Assembly bypolls in Odisha will be held on November 3 and counting will take place on November 10.
The BJD has field 13 ministers and 46 MLAs to give a check to Aparajita....