Himansu Shekhar Rout

After former legislator Ganeswar Behera left Congress days ago and joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Sunday, discontent has brewed in the ruling party in Kendrapara and the disgruntled party leaders and workers are likely to step up the ante against the former MLA.

Even well before his joining, the BJD workers owing allegiance to party leader Sipra Mallick were fuming over his possible crossover to claim the party ticket for the Kendrapara Assembly seat which is now represented by Sashibhusan Behera. They had earlier warned of revolt if the candidate from the other party was given a ticket.

As per reports, there are several ticket aspirants for a BJD ticket in this assembly segment. They said they have been working for the party over the years, but imported leaders shouldn't be given a chance to contest the poll. 

Several party workers and some srpanchs along with leaders like Sipra Mallick, Kishore Tarai, Gitanjali Sethi and Rajesh Das had a close-door meeting over the issue at kalyan mandap on Sunday and openly staged protests. It is said that the fire of discontent is reportedly spreading in the BJD against the merger of Ganeswar Behera with the party.  

Now, a large faction of party leaders is reportedly unhappy over the issue. 

However, BJD leader Manas Bastia said, ”The BJD has grown over the years. During elections, ticket aspirants usually become happy. There is no anti-incumbency against the party. The people of Odisha have decided to hand out massive victory to the BJD for the sixth time.”

On the other hand, Congress said that the party has not meted out any injustice to Ganeswar Behera. Chairperson of OPCC Media Cell, Dr Biswaranjan Mohanty, said, ”Ganeswar Behera has left the party to serve his personal ambition and interests. Rather, Congress has built him as a leader.” 

Mohanty also added that Behera's joining the BJD may affect the Congress for some time, but many strong leaders in that area who had not been getting justice over the years as we were establishing a single leader. One of them will take his place, he added.

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