Vikash Sharma

Who is trying to disintegrate BJD which had remained in power in Odisha for 24 years? All seems not well in the BJD, which is now in Opposition, after one of its corporators, Amaresh Jena claimed that there is a ‘Vibhishana’ inside who is trying to disintegrate the party.

Jena along with Biranchi Nayaran Mahasupkar reached the residence of senior BJD leader Pratap Deb for a meeting which was also attended by party’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das, Pramilla Mallick and Bhubaneswar (North) MLA Sushant Rout on Wednesday.

Though it was not immediately known what was the point of discussion at the meeting, Amaresh Jena’s ‘Vibhishana’ statement clearly exposed the rift within the BJD.

“There is a Vibhisana and the right answer has been given,” said Jena.

Without taking the names of senior BJD leaders, Jena alleged that those who are involved in corruption and covering it are trying to divide the party workers.

After the meeting at Pratap Deb’s residence, a group of 24 BJD corporators assembled at a star hotel in Bhubaneswar. The corporators are said to be the supporters of former Minister Ashok Panda and MLA Ananta Narayan Jena. The infighting was also visible here as the corporators while addressing a presser said that two corporators are trying to divide the party. However, we all are united, they said.

BJD corporator, Rupesh Nayak said, “The two corporators, who are saying that the BJD is divided, there is nothing like that. There is no one born to divide BJD.”

Such factionalism in BJD is nothing new in Bhubaneswar. During the recently concluded 2024 elections, there was a show of strength after the ticket distribution by BJD. One group had demanded to reject tickets for Ashok Panda and Ananta Jena. This protest was raised by BJD corporator Amaresh Jena, Biranchi Narayan Mahasupkar and Sangram Paikaray.

All of them had put forth their candidature for BJD tickets. Since then Ashok-Ananta faction and Amaresh-Biranchi factions have been at loggerheads.

The entire development took a new twist after Amaresh, Biranchi and Sangram were spotted at the blood donation event organised on the occasion of the birthday of BJP’s Ekramra MLA Babu Singh. Singh, on the other hand, said that the state BJP president will decide whether they will join the party or not.

“For me, BJP, BJD and Congress workers are the same and they are meeting an MLA like others. A clear picture will emerge after having discussions with the state BJP president,” said Singh.

Amidst the ongoing war of words between corporators and leaders of BJD in Bhubaneswar, speculation is rife over the statements of former Choudwar Cuttack MLA Prabhat Biswal during his son’s felicitation programme. Biswal stated that due to a lack of understanding, the party had to face defeat in the recent polls. Similarly, anti-incumbency was also another major factor, he said.

“Somewhere there was no proper coordination for which the party suffered. Anti-incumbency factor played a role,” said Biswal.

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “After the polls, the way BJD should have reviewed the debacle was not done and no action was taken against those responsible. It will be tough for BJD to pacify such issues and the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation row will have an impact on the state’s politics.”

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