Himansu Shekhar Rout

Ahead of the elections, rebels and disgruntled leaders have become a cause of concern for the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Bhubaneswar. Adding to its woes, there are more than one ticket hopefuls in each Assembly segment. 
The ticket aspirants have started displaying their strength by holding rallies and meetings with their supporters amid fears of exodus. 

As the elections are drawing closer, the BJD is struggling with the problem of plenty in its Ekamra, Madhya and Uttar constituencies in Bhubaneswar. Parallel organizations by warring groups are giving indication of factionalism which could spell more trouble only after the announcement of nominees. 

In Ekamra, incumbent MLA and minister Ashok Panda accompanied by the Bhubaneswar mayor and the Madhya MLA organised Mahila Samavesh (women's rally) in Pokhariput on Sunday. But four-time BJD corporator Biranchi Mahasuar has been organizing rallies countering Panda. He is projecting himself as a ticket hopeful in Ekamra. 

Biranchi Mahasuar sounded confident that the party will consider his candidature for the elections. “People want me to fight elections. If the party gives me a ticket, I am ready to fight with the blessings of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the people,” he added.

Ashok Panda said, “Women organizations are with us. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taught us: Work, but make no comment on others.”

Similar is the situation in Bhubaneswar Madhya and Uttar Assembly segments.  BJD corporator Amaresh Jena is challenging MLA Ananta Jena in Bhubaneswar Madhya with his organisation ‘We for Bhubaneswar’.

On the other hand, former MLA Priyadarshi Mishra has been holding meetings one after another in the Uttar, countering MLA Sushant Rout. Mishra is garnering support by organizing Mahila, Yuva and Chhatra samavesh. He held a student rally on Sunday.  

BJD corporator Amresh Jena said, “We have worked for the party for the last 25 years. But, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will take the final call."    

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MLA Ananta Jena said, “Our only leader is Naveen Patnaik. He will decide on tickets at the right time. When elections come, many people aspire for tickets.”

Former MLA Priyadarshi Mishra said, “I am always ready for elections. I had fought elections and was with the people and now with them. If the party decides in my favour, I am ready.”

Senior journalist Akshay Sahu said, “At many places, rebels like Raju Das are there. Those if denied tickets will migrate to other parties. The rebels will pose a danger to the party.”

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