Himansu Shekhar Rout

Even as the 2024 elections are drawing closer, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) seems to be ridden with factionalism in Bhadrak. The internecine bickering among the BJD workers came to the fore during the recent visit of the party’s district observer, Sanjay Dasburma. 

On December 1 in Basudevpur, a group of party workers shouted slogans against the former MLA of Dhamnagar, Muktikant Mandal, and clamoured for his removal from the party. A video clipping of the scene went viral on social media. 

As per reports, Dasburma after being accorded a warm welcome by party workers of Basudevpur at the municipality office, attended a meeting at Mahisapada that day. Many frontline BJD leaders including Bhadrak MP Manjulata Mandal, MLA Sanjib Mallik, and Basudevpur MLA Bishnubrata Routray were present.

At the meeting, while Bhadrak MP & wife of Muktikant Mandal, Majulata Madal was addressing the gathering, some party workers created a din and opposed her husband. They shouted ‘Mukti Hatao’ targeting the former MLA. They even went on to resent the MP too. 
As per reports, a faction of the BJD linked to a sarpanch candidate has all along been opposing the MLA and MP since the last panchayat elections.  
One Chintamani Nayak, backed by the BJD, contested for the post of sarpanch in Sugo panchayat. However, the former MLA and MP had reportedly got an independent candidate fielded against Nayak, who even raised the issue before the party’s observer Dasburma at the meeting.           

Chintamani Nayak, the sarpanch of Sugo panchayat, lambasted Mandal and alleged that Mandal had openly campaigned against the party during the panchayat elections. “I was contesting the election with the support of the BJD. The MP and MLA also held a rally with around 2000 workers near my house. They even spewed venom against me. I have some photographs of that rally,” Nayak lamented; adding that if the couple did not like my candidature they should have remained silent.   

Also Read: BJD 3rd richest regional party in country with 144% rise in assets: Report 

However, BJD’s block president, Dinabandhu Das denied any internecine squabble in the party. “Some people are making it an issue out of political motivation and have made the video viral. At the meeting, organizational issues were discussed. Many party workers had put forth their proposals. The party observer assured to sort out all issues.”

Speaking to the media, BJD’s Bhadrak observer, Sanjay Dasburma indirectly admitted a difference of opinion among party workers, saying, “At this time, all have a sense of discipline and respect towards the top leadership. All are committed to development. Issues may arise in every family. If someone has a difference of opinion, we will sort it out together.”

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  • Partha Sarathi nayak