Pradeep Pattanayak

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has restructured and expanded its student and youth wings, increasing its total number of members holding different positions to 400. This move of the ruling party has meanwhile triggered gossip in political circles. 

The expanded wings have been regarded as jumbo teams. So, why did the party go for such a change?

It is being discussed in the political circle that the party has taken this step only to rehabilitate college student leaders as college elections have not been held for the last two years. 

There are several new faces in the Biju Yuva Janata Dal. The wing has received a new working president. With this, the total number of working presidents has gone up to three. Besides, 13 vice presidents have also been added. 

Similarly, the Biju Chhatra Janata Dal has also got several new faces. Two new working presidents have been added, increasing the total number of working presidents to five. 

However, the expansion has given rise to discontent among the members as well. Following the expansion, secretary of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal, Rashmi Ranjan Parida tendered his resignation. But, his resignation has not been accepted yet. 

Parida’s move soon after the expansion indicates discontent in the party. 

On the other hand, Chhatra Congress and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) have picked holes in the expansions. 

Soubhagya Mohanty, general secretary of ABVP, termed it as a conspiracy to sweep the problems in colleges under the carpet. 
“The Parishad has demanded elections in colleges and the creation of new leaders,” said Mohanty. 

In his reaction, President of State unit Chhatra Congress Yasir Nawaz said, “Teachers' posts are lying vacant. These wings have never raised their voices in this regard. They have reduced to sycophants, sloganeering for Naveen Patnaik.”

However, the ruling party set asides the allegations saying that discontent is common considering the size of a party like the BJD. 

“Our objective is to ensure that the government’s people-oriented schemes should reach the targeted groups and Naveen Patnaik should come to power once again. The party hasn’t ignored anyone. Minor discontents are common in a huge party like BJD,” said vice president of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal, Pradosh Parida. 

According to political analysts, the expansion is a part of the BJD’s strategy for the general elections in 2024. 

“The party has been in power for many years. Strengthening the party may be the reason behind the expansion. But I don’t think, this expansion would have a huge impact in the 2024 general elections,” said political analyst, Sandeep Mishra.
(Reported by Harihara Chand and Jagdish Das)