Himansu Shekhar Rout

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is reportedly fretting and fidgeting over the party’s messy affair in the Bhubaneswar Central (Madhya) Assembly segment, which is currently represented by former BMC mayor Ananta Narayan Jena. 

The rift between MLA Ananta Narayan Jena and corporator Amaresh Jena has intensified over the party ticket for 2024.

Amaresh is a strong contender for a BJD ticket from the seat this time around and both the leaders have been lobbying hard before the top leadership with conspicuous shows of the strength at Naveen Niwas. 

MLA Ananta Narayan Jena was seen at Naveen Niwas on Saturday along with some outfits in a display of strength. This came just a day before the planned ‘Bandhumilan’ of Amaresh.

The party is said to have made unsuccessful attempts to broker a truce between the two leaders vying for the ticket. Amaresh, after coming out of Naveen Niwas, obliquely targeted Ananta Jena, alleging that attempts were being made to scuttle his Bandhumilan on Sunday.  

Speaking to the media, the corporator said, “Through you (mediapersons) I want to tell the leader, who started as ‘Ranga Mistry’ (a person engaged in whitewashing buildings). He should not prevent the BJD people from coming together.”

He also warned, “If he does that it would not be good for him in the days to come.”          

MLA Ananta Narayan Jena had earlier tried to downplay the issue, telling reporters, "There is no difference of opinion on the ticket. Our supreme leader is Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who will decide the right thing at the right time. As elections come, many people aspire for tickets.”  

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As per reports, the Bhubaneswar Madhya segment, a high-profile area in the state capital, was created in 2009 and since then the seat has been with the BJD. 

Political analyst and senior journalist Rabi Dash said, "I think the party has given signals about a change of leadership in three Assembly segments in Bhubaneswar.  There are multiple ticket aspirants at many places. This will create problems for the party."

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