Mrunal Manmay Dash

Following the inauguration of its swanky new party office in Bhubaneswar on Akshay Tritiya, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) already seems to be working on its election strategy.

Sources said, not less than 60 party MLAs were invited to the Naveen Niwas and have reportedly been informed by party president, Naveen Patnaik that their feedback from the ground is good and they are likely to get party tickets again in the coming election.

They were reportedly directed by Patnaik to remain in their respective constituencies and work for the party by propagating the welfare schemes of the State government.

However, those who did not get the invitation from Naveen Niwas are fearing the worst.

Such a move by the BJD with over a year left to the election has set the rumour mills abuzz as well. While some are calling it an effort to curb the infighting in the party, some even suspect that the party might go into Assembly elections early.

“The survey is a real thing. The party has already started the process of zeroing in on the probable candidates. They have a robust intelligence network. They know which MLA is in contact with what party. So, the party is luring them with the bait in the form of election tickets in order to keep them calm till the election,” said senior journalist, Rabi Das.

Planning and Convergence Minister, Rajendra Dholakia said, “The party has started a Jan Sampark Abhiyan to connect with more and more people. As far as the tickets are concerned, party president, Naveen Patnaik will take the final call after considering all the criteria.”

Similarly, Soro MLA, Parsuram Dhada said, “Visiting the constituencies and connecting with the people is a regular process in our party. The party considers a candidate after many surveys, local reports, and opinions of party members.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the conch party has never ever tried to assure tickets to aspirants at such an early stage. However, revolting leaders and infighting is a perennial problem that the BJD has been facing before every election. Only time will tell what is in store for the party in 2024.

  • Reported by:
  • HARIHARA CHAND , Niranjan Behera