Mrunal Manmay Dash

All is not seemingly well in Biju Janata Dal (BJD). After 25 years of rule, the cracks in the party named after the late Biju Patnaik is surfacing more than ever.

A recent incident in Paradip, where a faction of BJD workers raised a banner of revolt against MLA Sambit Routray, is a testament to it.

On Monday, over 2,000 party workers and grassroots leaders drawn from 36 panchayats held a 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.

However, following the meeting, Routray’s supporters held another press meet and launched an attack on the dissidents terming them conspirators.

“No member from the BJD, BCJD or the BYJD was present in that meeting. I do not know how they conducted a member meeting. They (dissidents) will come to their senses once party supremo cracks his whip,” said a BJD leader, Sudhala Swain.

“BJD is one family. I will urge all to remain in that family. There are appropriate forums to address issues, in case anybody has any grievance. But it is unacceptable to do it openly through public meetings,” Swain said.

“We have trust in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the works our MLA has done in this Constituency so far. I am sure the party will give him another chance to contest from here,” he added.