Himansu Shekhar Rout

As elections are approaching, cracks in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the Paradeep Assembly constituency are widening day by day after a faction of party workers raised a banner of revolt against MLA Sambit Routray.

Hundreds of party workers ganged up against the legislator at Kujang, despite a note of warning and admonition by the party’s district observer.

As per reports, the long-simmering discontent among party workers against Sambit found an outlet at a recent closed-door meeting of frontline party leaders and workers at Kujang on February 29. 

On Monday, over 2,000 party workers and grassroots leaders drawn from 36 panchayats held another meeting at Kujang and launched a scathing attack on the legislator.

They accused the MLA of staying away from people as well as development since he was voted to power in 2019. 

The disgruntled leaders vented their ire against the MLA and said that they would appeal to the Chief Minister not to give a BJD ticket to Sambit Routray this time.

Speaking to the media, Basanta Biswal, president of the BJD’s Paradeep unit said, “Those who gathered here expressed their opinions. They will put forth their stand before the Chief Minister. He will decide.”

Biswal further added, “The party has sent an observer to see if any difference of opinion is there in the rank and file. The observer is supposed to iron out the differences, but he has not come to warn or admonish others.”   

On the other hand, lawmaker Sambit Routray downplayed the issue, saying, “When elections come, some people voice their discontent and frustration. When the family is bigger, such things happen to grab power. They have ganged up with a demand. That doesn’t mean they will disband the party if their demand is not met.”

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Tactically avoiding the issue, the legislator also observed, “In BJD there is freedom of expression, which is missing in the BJP. Our party workers can freely put forth their opinions.”

As per reports, most party workers present at the meeting owed allegiance to Rajya Sabha member, Debasish Samantaray.

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