Mrunal Manmay Dash

The rift in the Balasore unit of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was out in the open after the factions of MLA Swarup Das and former MP Rabindra Jena faced off on Tuesday.

Women supporters of BJD leader and former MP, Rabindra Jena took out a rally from Gandhi Memorial in Balasore to the District Collector’s office against party leader and Balasore Sadar MLA Swarup Das alleging misbehaviour.

They submitted a letter to the Collector bearing their demands.

Jena’s supporters alleged that Swarup Das and his supporters had misbehaved with them at a party meeting on January 6. A woman councillor has also filed a complaint against four supporters of Das at the police station.

Woman Councillor Ranjita Mohapatra who filed the complaint said, “We want justice. We can give our lives for the BJD but the women need to be respected here. Everybody saw what happened that day. So justice should be served as per the law.”

As per reports, a programme under Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha was organised on the Mission High School ground in Balasore on Saturday which was attended by VK Pandian. When some women councillors belonging to the camp of former MP Rabindra Jena came to the venue, they were upset to find no place for them. The seats were allegedly occupied by women supporters of MLA Swarup Das.

Though the squabble among party workers is attributed to a lack of seats, the real reason is said to be the long-brewing resentment among two groups- one led by former Balasore MP Rabindra Jena and the other led by MLA Swarup Das.

Infighting in Balasore BJD is not new. In fact, the rift between Das and Jena has been brewing since the last by-polls in Balasore.

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