Vikash Sharma

The alleged rift in the BJD is out in the open again with fresh controversy erupting over who would contest from Satyabadi constituency? Will it be Sanjay Das Burma or Uma Samantaray? Such speculation is now rife in Satyabadi after a video of Das Burma holding a secret meeting at Dhauli with some local leaders went viral on social media.

In the video, Das Burma can be heard saying to have got the green signal to contest the upcoming general elections on BJD ticket from Satyabadi after leaving Brahmagiri in Puri district.

In the meeting, Das Burma can be further heard saying that Uma Samantaray will be contesting from Brahmagiri. Other equations like what would happen if Uma Samantaray does not accept this reshuffle were also discussed during the meeting attended by Burma.

After the video went viral, Satyabadi MLA Uma Samantaray said, “Our leader is Naveen Patnaik and his decision is final. Everybody is ready to accept whatever is said. I do not want to comment on who is saying what.”

According to Samantray, no ticket has been declared by the BJD supremo and other senior leaders yet. “I have won as Zilla Parishad and MLA as an independent candidate from Satyabadi,” said Samantaray.

Following the development, both Sanjay Das Burma and Uma Samantray were called to BJD headquarters Sankha Bhawan for a meeting which was also attended by the party’s Organisational Secretary Pranab Prakash Das on Wednesday.

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “It is just the beginning ahead of 2024 elections. A similar situation will happen in Bhubaneswar and other parts of the state. Both leaders-Sanjay Das Burma and Uma Samantaray- are at loggerheads. Burma once felt sidelined in the party and now why he is keen on changing the constituency. It seems that he (Burma) has got some indication from top leadership for which he organised such meeting.”

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According to Mohanty, under such circumstances, it will be a tough challenge for BJD to pacify Uma Samantaray who has a strong base in Satyabadi.

Responding to the development, BJP leader Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh said, “It is an internal matter of BJD. But Satyabadi is a land of sacrifice and the battle in BJD is to acquire power. People are watching it and will give a befitting reply to those who are coming only to enjoy power instead of serving people. Anybody’s self-declaration is not enough unless the concerned party leadership announces it. I think that BJD will lose both the seats under such a situation.”

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