Actor gives stalwarts a shiver in Odisha

Actor gives stalwarts a shiver in Odisha

She is just a month old in politics. But Aparajita Mohanty, a popular actor from Odia film industry (Ollywood) and Congress nominee for the prestigious Cuttack Lok Sabha constituency, is giving her two principal rivals, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD)’s Bhatruhari Mahtab and BJP’s Samir Dey a run for their money.

Both Mahatab and Dey are known political stalwarts with vast experience in electoral battles. Mahtab, son of former state CM, the late Harekrishna Mahtab, is a four-time MP for the politically important constituency. He is trying his luck for a fifth straight term.

Similarly, Dey is a three-time former MLA from the undivided Cuttack Assembly constituency and was a Cabinet minister in the state when BJP and BJD were allies and sharing the government between 2000 and 2009. Yet, both the heavyweights are struggling hard to deal with their politically novice Congress rival. Though she has already passed her prime, Aparajita (49) continues to be popular among the people not only in Cuttack but also in the entire state. Recently, she had surprised all when she was voted as the “most popular Odia” in a contest conducted by a local TV channel.

And her huge mass following gets reflected during her campaigns. She is being mobbed wherever she goes. During a recent roadshow in Athagarh, an Assembly segment under Cuttack Lok Sabha constituency, a woman was seen touching her feet.

The movie star reciprocates in a typical filmy style. “For several years now, people were visiting the theatres to see me. It is now my turn to come and see them,” says Aparajita, who now has switched to character roles both in the silver screen as well as small screen, whenever she gets an opportunity to speak to the media.