Mrunal Manmay Dash

'We need orange revolution in Ganjam'-statement by Gopalpur MLA and ousted BJD leader, Pradeep Panigrahi has set the ball rolling with many speculating a role reversal for the reigning Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the Southern Odisha District.

Panigrahi, while speaking to reporters, said, “We have seen green, white, blue revolutions, but we need a change in Ganjam now. That is why we need an orange revolution here.”

His statement carries weight as the BJD is reportedly grappling with infighting in six out of the 13 Assembly seats in the district.

From Aska to Digapahandi to Chhatrapur, infightings have become so pervasive that party leaders are not even trying to keep it under wraps. If Chhatrapur is taken into consideration, BJD leader and Deputy Chairman of Chhatrapur NAC, Laxmi Padhi has opened a front against the sitting MLA from BJD, Subash Behera.

Going ahead in the district towards Digapahandi, seven-time MLA Surjya Narayan Patro seems to be in trouble in his own Constituency. While he is struggling with health problems, his son, Biplab Patro has been projected to take the reins from him in the next elections. However, former Block Chairman of Digapahandi, Bipin Chandra Pradhan has emerged as a big hurdle.

The situation in Aska is not encouraging either.

Political expert and senior journalist, Ajit Kumar Sahu said, “The infighting in BJD which had cropped up just before 2019 elections has now snowballed into a full-scale dispute. And we cannot see any efforts from the party to either pacify the disgruntled leaders or to put the fire out.”

Congress on the other hand does not want to miss the bus either. Congress leader Bijay Patnaik said, “As per the feedback I have been receiving from Ganjam, I am sure, the people will bring about a change and push Congress ahead in the polls.”

However, the BJD denied speculations of dearth of able leaders in the district. “There is no issue in Ganjam. There are a lot of leaders here. In fact, CM Naveen Patnaik also represents Ganjam. He has his goals set for the district. He takes the right steps at appropriate time for the betterment of the party and Ganjam,” said BJD MP, Chandrasekhar Sahu.

Meanwhile, the recent resignation of Assembly Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha is also being looked upon as a tactic to reinforce BJD’s foothold in Ganjam. It is believed that Arukha will be handed over the responsibility of strengthening the organization in the district.

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