Pradeep Pattanayak

Since the day BJD announced the names of candidates for the Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections, it has been facing challenges from a number of rebel candidates.  

The party has re-nominated Mahidhar Rana for the Kantamal constituency in the Boudh district for the third time.  Nominating him, the party seems to have landed itself in soup as opposing his candidature, 25 sarpanchs, samiti members and over 2000 workers resigned from the party. 

Sources said the party has fielded Rana despite strong opposition on the ground. 

“We had sent a letter to the Chief Minister saying we would support any candidate but for any member of Mahidhar Rana’s family. Today thousands of us have resigned from the party,” said Priyadarshi Pratyusha, president of Boudh block. 

“We are yet to decide which party we will join,” said Gangadhar Puala, a former BJD leader.  

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The situation is the same in Rayagada where the party has fielded Anusuya Majhi. None of the party’s formula is working to placate ticket aspirant N Bhaskar Rao’s supporters. 

Similarly, Sanjeeb Biswal along with hundreds of supporters today reached Naveen Niwas to make his voice against Balikuda-Ersama candidate Raghunandan Das heard louder. 

“Thousands of people are with me. If the Chief Minister gives me a chance, I will work for the people,” said Biswal. 

In Khallikote, Sugyan Sena has been demanding a new face in place of Suryamani Baidya. In Biramaharajpur, Narayan Luha has been showing his strength aspiring for a ticket in place of Padmanabha Behera.  

“The present MLA is an outsider. He is not from our area. So I hope for a ticket,” said Luha. 

In Bhubaneswar Ekamra, the situation is not different either. Here, ticket aspirant Biranchi Mahasupakar has been opposing incumbent MLA, Ashok Kumar Panda. He seems to be in no mood to step down. On the occasion of Utkal Dibasa, he took out a massive rally to show his strength. 

“As importance is being given to young leaders, I hope the Chief Minister won’t let me down,” said Mahasupakar. 
However, BJD leader Parshuram Dhada said the party can manage everything. 

“When leaders lose their sway over voters and are thus sidelined in the party, they cross over to the BJP. There is nothing new in it. The party will fight this election in the name of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJD and the conch symbol,” said Dhada.