Patkura: Even though the ruling parties at the state and Centre– BJD and BJP are locked in a fierce battle and the Congress is struggling to find a place to stand in between in the run up to the Patkura assembly elections, two independent candidates, interestingly, are asserting that they would win this election.

Prafulla Behera, a retired government of India employee who served the DAVP, the Information & Boradcasting (I & B) ministry’s publicity wing, for over 35 years, is making his electoral debut in Patkura. Trolley rickshaws with plastic buckets hanging all around are doing round the constituency carrying the candidate’s messages.

Behera, a trained Odissi classical vocal singer, boasts that his campaign is pollution free. ” I am not using vehicles to avoid pollutions”. But, when asked about the the plastic buckets, he just smiles.

The bureaucrat-turned-politician is quite confident of winning the elections. His calculation is quite bizarre. ” You see, when Bijaya will found that he is not winning, he will transfer his votes to me, and, in that case, I will win.” In the same breath he addds, ” If BJD will transfer his votes to me to defeat Bijjaya, when it will realize that it is not winning the elections.”

Quoting former union minister Srikanta Jena’s statement that BJD and BJP are fighting a friendly match, Behera said the people will vote for him when they came to know what is happening.

Ratikanta Kanungo, a film and album song producer who has encounter with the law enforcing agencies like the CBI several times in the past, is also in the race as an independent candidate. Kanungo’s road shows dazzles with half-a-dozen glamorous girl from Ollywood film and album industry.

Kanungo asserts that he is going to win this election as people of Patkura are fed with the high-profile electioneering by both the BJP and BJD.