Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A number of senior leaders of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are still staring at an uncertain future as the party seems to be in two minds over their candiadture for the upcoming elections.  Meanwhile, Bhupinder Singh is reportedly lost his sleep as he fears denial of ticket this time. 

As per reports, several senior leaders of the ruling party are in a state of panic following the announcement of the fourth phase of the candidates. The party is yet to announce the names of the candidates in many seats where senior members of the party had emerged winners earlier. For example, Amar Satpathy was elected from the Badachana Assembly seat six times. But his ticket has not been finalised as yet.  

Similarly, Angul’s four-time MLA Rajanikant Singh is yet to be confirmed as a BJD candidate. Rajanikant left the Deputy Speaker’s post to take organizational responsibility of the party. However, the party is yet to announce his name. He has been continuing his lobby for the party ticket by showing his organizational capacity with his huge number of supporters in Bhubaneswar.

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“As BJP has already announced its candidate for Angul seat, we are being ridiculed and it has become unbearable for us as BJD workers. I am sure that my name will be announced as a party candidate in the next phase,” said Rajanikant.

Though Balikuda-Erasama MLA Raghunandan Das is a first-time legislator, he has been aspiring to bag a party ticket on the basis of seniority. As the announcement of ticket is getting late, he has also shown his prowess by congregating his huge number of supporters in Bhubaneswar. 

“As I am in Bhubaneswar, my supporters are coming to me with different queries. They have been demanding that their sitting MLA should be given another opportunity,” said Raghunandan.

Senior BJD leader Rabi Nanda is also apprehensive of getting a party ticket from Jeypore. As he has been defeated for two successive times, it is not yet certain whether he will be given the party ticket this time or not.

On the other hand, controversy has been triggered following the announcement of senior leader Prasanna Acharya’s name for Sambalpur Assembly seat. Speculations are rife that, Prasanna has expressed his dissatisfaction over the development before party supremo Naveen Patnaik.

Earlier, Prasanna had expressed his desire to contest from Rairakhol Assembly seat following which there was a conflict between him and sitting MLA Rohit Pujari. Now, resentment is brewing after Prasanna was denied ticket from Rairakhol.

Meanwhile, BJD has stated that there has been no conflict over the allotment of tickets to the senior members. As per party sources, the announcement of the rest of the candidates will be made at an appropriate time.  

“Plenty of time has been left for the upcoming election. Discussions and analysis are going on before the announcement of the next phase of candidates,” said BJD MLA Padmanabha Behera.

However, as per political analysts, BJD may give chances to some new-generation candidates.

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“There has been a change of generation within BJD. Hence, the party think tank is promoting leaders of the new generation. It seems as if the party is not interested in giving tickets to some senior leaders,” said political analyst Prasanna Mohanty.