Himansu Shekhar Rout

Starting from Paradeep to Bhubaneswar, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) reportedly stands divided with new ticket aspirants becoming rebellious against the incumbent MLAs. On the other hand, disgruntled BJD leaders are now making a beeline for the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP).

The rifts in the BJD may intensify only after the distribution of party tickets. 

Take a look at Bhubaneswar Central Assembly constituency where the political climate is reportedly heating up due to a growing rift between Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Ananta Narayan Jena and party corporator Amaresh Jena over party ticket. Meanwhile, Ekamra MLA Ashok Panda joined the political slugfest on Sunday and trained his gun on the party corporator.

BJD corporator Amaresh Jena on Saturday took a swipe at the MLA Ananta Jena without taking his name. In an oblique criticism to the legislator, the corporator alleged that the leader who started his career as ‘Ranga Mistry’( a person engaged in whitewashing of buildings) has been trying to foil ‘Bandhumilan as being orgnised by him.  Amaresh is allegedly ambitious about a BJD ticket from Bhubaneswar central seat and routinely organising meetings in his area.    

While addressing the BJD’s students and youth convention at Baramunda ground on Sunday, Panda came out in favour of Ananta Jena and targeted Amaresh, saying, “It is very unfortunate to make remarks on what someone was doing in the past and what the same person is doing in the present. He is one of our colleagues who had staked his life during Covid and was ensuring healthcare services to all in Bhubaneswar. Should we laugh at him with such remarks?”

Panda also said that people indulging in cheap politics usually make such demeaning remarks. “We are going to form Nua Odisha Nabin Odisha. We should not look at what someone was doing and what he is doing now. We have to expand our base to achieve this goal,’ he added.

On the other hand, Amaresh organised 'Bandhumilan' in his constituency on Sunday and displayed his show of strength.

The corporator again targeted the legislator. Speaking to media, Amaresh said, “Whoever does politics will want to march ahead. The Chief Minister will decide who will be given a ticket. But some mischievous people are trying to scuttle the progress of others by pulling their legs. Doing mischief is the age-old habit of some people. Such people do not tolerate the progress of others.”     

At the same time, in Paradeep, BJD leaders and workers have reportedly ganged up against MLA Sambit Routray. Hundreds of party workers led by former Kujang block chairman Smruti Ranjan Behera held a close-door meeting and warned of intensifying their revolt if Routray is given the BJD ticket this time.

Former Balia sarpanch Deepak Swain alleged, ”We voted the MLA for five years, but the MLA has not taken party workers like us along with him. If he is given a ticket, we will desert him. We can’t compromise with the MLA.”

However, MLA Sambit Routray said, “I will outright ask them where I have neglected them. They are not with the people. They are doing this to make their presence felt before elections.” 

On the other hand, the acute factionalism in the BJD is adding strength to the saffron camp in Odisha with one leader after another joining the BJP. 

On Sunday, Jayadev MLA Arabinda Dhali and former MLA Mukunda Sodhi joined the BJP while Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi joined the party earlier.

To add to the woes of the BJD, Telkoi MLA Pramananda Nayak and former MLA Raju Das will join the party tomorrow.
Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said, “Every day, hundreds of people are joining the BJP. I feel the BJD will be empty of leaders in a few days. Seven more MLAs will join the party." 

However, the BJD legislator Sudhir Samal observed, ”There are some people with MLAs. They dream of becoming legislators. When they see the sitting MLAs will be given tickets, they cross over to other parties. The exodus will make no impact on the BJD. Who are with people will get tickets.”

  • Reported by: