Pradeep Pattanayak

The ever increasing infighting and simmering discordance in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has seemingly put paid to the joy of the party’s landslide victory in the Panchayat and Urban Body elections. 

In Chhatrapur of Ganjam district, MLA Subash Behera and former legislator Priyanshu Pradhan are at daggers drawn. Similarly, the enmity between Rayagada MP Bhaskar Rao and District president Sudhir Das has been out in the open. At the same time, the relationship between Sundargarh District BJD President Binay Toppo and Prafulla Majhi, who had left the Congress to join the BJD, has hit the rough weather. 

The list of conch leaders sparring with each other doesn’t end here. 

Kendrapara MLA Sashi Bhushan Behera and Rajnagar MLA Dhruba Sahu, Mahakalpara MLA Atanu Sabyasachi and Patkura MLA Sabitri Agrawal are locking horns over Pattamundai Panchayat Samiti Chairman post. 

Similarly, the gap of tension between Minister Jyoti Panigrahi and Balasore District BJD President Rabindra Jena, and Khandapara MLA Soumyaranjan Patnaik and ex-MLA Anubhab Patnaik is only increasing by the day. The relationship between Bhadrak MLA Sanjib Mallick and ex-MLA Jugal Patnaik’s son Asit Patnaik, who is the chairman of Fish Corporation, is getting worse. 

However, government chief whip Pramila Mallick has dismissed the speculations of rising fractures in the BJD. She has instead clarified that the party is quite big and it is quite natural that some fissures arise here and there but they are all irrelevant. 

While sources said in places like Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Khordha, the relationship between the ruling party leaders is turning sour, BJD MP Munna Khan believes that it won't affect their big party due to strong unity. 

Meanwhile, senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty observed that the BJD is struggling with the threats coming from within the party. If it is not solved before 2024 general elections, it might have a detrimental impact on the party.