Odishatv Bureau

There has never been so much desperation among the political leaders to bag tickets! We all are familiar with bus, train and cinema tickets. However, the political leaders had to fight hard to bag tickets for fighting in the upcoming elections. Some of the incidents in this regard have gone viral on various social media platforms.

One can also contest in elections without a ticket. No party is required in this case as a contestant can fight the election as an Independent candidate. 

For the 2024 General Elections, the candidates and supporters have already started their campaigns without bothering about the prevailing heat wave conditions with mercury at 43 degrees Celsius in April. Moreover, the ticket lobby by aspiring candidates has also added more temperature to the existing heat wave conditions in the State. The leaders, who have managed tickets from a political party, have already started their poll campaigns. 

Meanwhile, the aspiring candidates, who have not managed to bag tickets, have started revolting against their party. They have expressed their resentment over the allotment of tickets to candidates from other parties who just switched their allegiance during election time. According to them, as they have worked so hard for the party for many years, giving tickets to outsiders at the time of election is not acceptable at all. Under such circumstances, it has become a huge challenge for all the political parties to control the resentment among aspiring candidates who have not been provided party tickets. Especially, the top leaders of the BJP and BJD are under tremendous pressure to manage the situation.

Though the numbers of Assembly and Lok Sabha seats are limited to only 147 and 21 in Odisha respectively, thousands of candidates from three political parties-BJD, BJP and Congress are vying for tickets. None of the candidates, who are pursuing politics as a career, are eager to forgo this opportunity. They are trying their best to bag a ticket as the next election may be more complicated for them. With several supporters on their side, many aspiring candidates have been flexing their muscles by congregating in front of the party headquarters. In case of failure to secure party tickets, many candidates have also switched their allegiance to other parties. The situation has become unprecedented this time. 

Even there were instances when the tickets of some candidates were cancelled while going to file their nomination after getting clearance from the party. In one such instance, current BJD MP Chandra Sekhar Sahu’s ticket was once cancelled by Congress in 1995 when he was on his way along with a huge number of supporters to file nomination for the Berhampur Assembly seat. Sahu was forced to return from Kamapalli Square without filing his nomination. Alekh Choudhury was announced as the party candidate at the last moment and in the process he filed his nomination. However, the late Choudhury had to face defeat by a narrow margin of 4,233 votes from Janata Dal candidate Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik.

However, Sahu returned as a Congress candidate in 2000 but failed to emerge a winner.

Recently, party stalwarts like Bhrugu Baxipatra of BJP, Priyadarshi Mishra of BJD and Chiranjib Biswal of Congress have left their parties and become candidates from other parties after being denied tickets. However, some leaders like Jayaram Pangi and Bipin Pradhan have not been given tickets despite changing their parties.

Several parties have encouraged political dynasties over the years.  Following the same kind of trend, the political parties are not ready to take any kind of risk by giving opportunities to new leaders this time. They want to emerge winners by relying on their old leaders. Though these kinds of situations were rare in politics in the past, it has become a kind of trend nowadays.

With the election around the corner, the perception of voters about the stances of political parties regarding inner conflict, and bickering for tickets among the aspiring candidates and political dynasties has undergone a sea change. The careers of political leaders are at stake at the cost of their policies, principles and ideologies.

However, amid all the tussles, the most important thing is the issue of the public. As the political leaders are desperate to face tough contests in the upcoming election, it seems the issue of the public has taken a back seat. In the current election, apart from the alliance, candidates, tickets and inner conflicts within the parties, there has been no discussion about the problems that people are facing which is really a matter of concern.

By - Dilip Sabat

(He can be reached out at: dksawat@gmail.com)

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)