‘Party hoppers given big role in BJD with eye on panchyat polls’

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Bhubaneswar: Ahead of panchayat polls in Odisha next year, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has played an altogether different ball game by including several party hoppers in the list of party office bearers announced yesterday, political expert opine.

“The party’s recent move is to spread the message among leaders of other parties that those who joined BJD from other parties before the poll, as well as outsiders, will be accommodated and given important positions in the party,” said political observer K Ravi.

Observers point to the case of Bimbadhar Kuanr, one of the five leaders who joined the BJD from other parties and still have been given important responsibilities. After quitting BJP and joining the ruling party, he was never known to have participated in party activities. Even during the party’s Sohela famers’ rally, he was not invited to attend. And yet, he has now been appointed BJD vice president.

Kuanr, however, evaded the question of what made the party leadership bestow such a key role to him now. “As I have not done anything significant in the party so far, I had no expectation from it. Even though I was made a leader, I will work as a party activist,” he told OTV.

Similarly, Anup Sai, Subas Singh, Sudam Marandi and Rabindra Jena were inducted in Naveen’s new party team.

Sai and Singh have already been accommodated in corporations whereas Marandi and Jena were made a minister and an MP, respectively.

The Naveen’s new team comprises of nine vice-presidents, ten general secretaries and ten secretaries.

Meanwhile, MP Prasanna Patasani, Nagendra Pradhan and Narendra Swain were dropped from the new party team.

Asked about the party’s decision to give a chance to party hoppers, who have joined the party in recent past, BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said, “It is immaterial when someone joined the party. Important thing is the chief minister has chosen the team to utilise power, time and capability of everyone. This team is a fantastic one.”

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