Mrunal Manmay Dash

A video of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former Digapahandi Block president Bipin Pradhan has gone viral on social media stoking speculations about his switch over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the video, he could be seen telling his supporters that he would join BJP if BJD does not give him an MLA ticket this time. “I have been in BJD for the last 33 years. But if my party does not give me a ticket, and BJP offers me a ticket instead, then I will join BJP.”

“I will not go to any other party,” he said in the viral video.

It is pertinent to mention here that the political atmosphere in Digapahandi is going through a phase of uncertainty after the demise of former Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro. Bipin Pradhan was a close aide and associate of Patro and served the party for a long time. Pradhan is known to manage Patro’s Constituency and the organisation in Digapahandi while Patro stayed in Bhubaneswar.

But after Patro’s death, Pradhan supported another candidate in the last Block Chairman election who defeated the candidate supported by Patro’s son Biplab Patro.

Pradhan was later expelled from BJD over anti-party activity. Bipin Pradhan and Biplab Patro have now emerged as two rival factions in Digapahandi. While Biplab is eyeing an MLA ticket from the BJD, Pradhan too wants to fight the assembly election from Digapahandi.

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And as the viral video suggests, if not from BJD, Pradhan is likely to contest elections from BJP. If that happens, both Biplab and Bipin Pradhan will have a head-on fight in Digapahandi in the upcoming election.