Himansu Shekhar Rout

Leaders from the BJP and the Congress are being continually embraced by the BJD, the party which has been ruling Odisha for five consecutive terms. This happens even though party's organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das had claimed the party has 10,000 aspirants. 

Taking imported leaders into the party fold has raised a question in the minds of people and political observers – is the ruling party scared of losing the upcoming polls? 

As per reports, Anshuman Mohanty who contested on a Congress ticket in Rajnagar constituency in 2019 and lost the poll, recently joined the BJD. He has been made MP nominee for Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat. 

The list of opposition leaders who joined the BJD is long. Congress leader of Titilagarh Surendra Singh Bhoi has been made BJD’s MP candidate for Bolangir after he joined the party. Former Salipur MLA and BJP leader Prakash Behera joined the BJD and has been made Cuttack-Barabati MLA candidate.      

Congress’ Khariar MLA Adhiraj Panigrahi has been given a BJD ticket for the same Khariar seat.  BJP leader Bhrugu Baxipatra has been made the BJD’s MP candidate for Berhampur Lok Sabha seat. 

Congress leader Sura Routray’s son Manmath Routray was inducted into the BJD and has been allowed to fight on a BJD ticket in Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat. 

BJP’s Bargarh leaders Sushant Mishra and his wife Parinita Mishra were ushered into the party. Parinitia has been made the party’s MP candidate for the Bargarh Lok Sabha seat. On Sunday, BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar and Congress leader Ganeswar Behera joined the BJD.

Does the ruling party fail to repose its faith in its own leaders to win elections? This question is also haunting everyone in the state. 
However, the BJD leaders argue that opposition party leaders are inspired by the Chief Minister's development agenda. 
BJD leader Lekhashree Samathsinghar explained, “I decided to join the BJD to be a part of the development journey set by the Chief Minister.”

Praising the Chief Minister, BJD leader Ganeswar Behera said, ”The real leaders know the good qualities of other people. My aim is to see the development of Odisha.” 

BJP leader Pradeep Panigrahi said that BJD is completely weak now and asked if the BJD lacks leaders. He added that seven MP candidates are from other parties.  

BJD leader Subash Singh argued that those who have come to the BJD have got the honour which they did not get in other parties. 
Senior journalist Rabi Das said that BJD has come to a transitional stage and more leaders from other parties may boomerang for the party.

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