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Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the clearing of decks for the three-tier Panchayat elections in the State following the announcement of the schedule by the SEC on Tuesday, the in-fighting in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) surfaced at Karanjia in Mayurbhanj on Wednesday.

As per reports, the supporters of the Thakurmunda Block president, Prashant Kumar Behera and the Karanjia MLA, Basanti Hembram got into a heated exchange of words at the party office which culminated in a scuffle.

Sources said some supporters of Hembram thrashed the supporters of Behera over nominations for the ensuing Panchayat polls.

Speaking to OTV, Behera said, “People are not happy with Hembram’s conduct since the past few years. She does not want development of the tribals. Because my popularity rose and the people started liking me, she could not find any other way to stop me. So she sent goondas to harass me.”

A supporter of Behera, who was thrashed by the alleged henchmen of Hembram said, “I have never seen such kind of goondgiri. If a Panchayat leader can be beaten up in broad day light, how will an ordinary person get the courage to rise as leader?”

However, Hembram refuted the allegations made by Behera and his supporters. Speaking to OTV over phone, she said, “I was not there when the incident took place. I do not know who beat up Behera’s supporters. They are unnecessarily dragging me into a controversy.”

Following the scuffle, both the factions have lodged complaints and counter complaints at the local Police station.

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