Pradeep Pattanayak

After expanding its student and youth wings, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has expanded its women wing Biju Mahila Janata Dal by appointing 393 women as new presidents and office bearers. 

However, the ruling party's expansion of the women's wing has not gone down well with the Opposition for the recently published NCRB report placing the State on the top position with respect to crimes against women. 

“I would like to ask their (BJD) Mahila Morcha leader as to why she has not given her comment on NCRB report. After the publication of the NCRB report, the party is itself in fear. I don’t think there was any requirement for the expansion,” said BJP Mahila Morcha State President Smruti Pattanayak. 

The congress has seen through the BJD’s strategies. “The main objective of having so many women in the party is to earn votes. They would beg votes for the party. And this way, the party is also assuaging the disgruntled male leaders. In the coming days, they, not the women leaders, will be seen on the ground,” said Congress leader Rashmi Mohapatra. 

In his reply, BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra however said, “Considering the party’s organizations in different parts of the state, it is obvious that there would be more numbers. Now it is our aim to keep the people’s faith intact and coming general election is a part of it.”

With this expansion, the question buzzing around in the political corridors is why the BJD is giving its wings a huge shape at a time when the time left for the 2024 big game is not less than two years. Is it the intention of the party not to give any slightest chance to the Opposition parties? 

Meanwhile, the conch party apart from shaping its wings is presently busy making peace with the disgruntled members by rehabilitating in the party. 

The party is also on a tight spot for sensational cases of crimes against women, particularly Pari missing case, Pihu and Mamita murder cases. 

According to political analysts, the recent exercise of women wing expansion is a part of a strategy to shrug off the anti-women tag. 

“It is well known that women are its (BJD) vote bank. In comparison to male votes, it has been pooling more female votes over the years. In fact, the positions they have been given don’t have any importance,” said political analyst Rabi Das. 

(Reported by Soumya Ranjan Sahu and Jagdish Das)