Himansu Shekhar Rout

Infighting within the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) continues to surface almost every day in various parts of Odisha even as the ruling party intensified its poll preparedness and candidate selection process.  

Multiple ticket aspirants have been a cause of headache for the party and they have started revolting against the incumbent legislators. Various circles are now abuzz about how the party will manage the rebels. Speculations are rife that rebels might seek sanctuary in the BJP.

Though the BJD has reviewed poll preparedness in 17 parliamentary seats, the names of the candidates have not been announced. However, the BJP has announced the names of its candidates for 18 LS seats. 

As per reports, infighting has become acute in Ganjam, the home district of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. In the Aska Assembly seat, a faction of BJD leaders strongly opposed MLA Manjula Swain and her son Nachiketa Swain.

A forum called ‘Maa-Pua Hatao Manch’ has been formed to oppose the MLA and the group led by Bhabani Shanakar Mallick has urged the party supremo not to give a ticket to Swain. 

Mallick said, "All hope to see a new face here.” 

A similar situation is being witnessed in the Sanakhemundi Assembly segment which went to the Congress in 2019. A group of BJD leaders, sarpanchs, samiti members and workers have been opposing former MLA Nandini Devi, who is aspiring for a ticket this time too. 

The situation is no different in Balasore. A faction of the BJD led by former MP Rabindra Jena is out to teach MLA Swarup Das a lesson this election. Jena is supported by municipality chairperson Sabita Sahu, some councillors and sarpanchs. 

Narayan Pradhan, Balasore Zilla Parishad president said, "We are trying to iron out differences and get along with all leaders to put up a strong fight in the elections.”  

BJP leader Pradeep Panigrahy said, "I have already said that when 54 MLAs will not be given tickets, all will leave the party only to ensure a collapse of the BJD.   

BJD MP Mahesh Sahu said, "Aspiring for a party ticket is natural. It is not possible to give tickets to all aspirants. The party has a lot of programmes in which those who will be denied tickets will be engaged.”

  • Reported by:
  • JAGDISH DAS , Manoj Muni