With the nomination filing process for the upcoming Civic body elections in Odisha starting from Wednesday, the three major political parties in the State are facing an uphill task to distribute tickets among eligible candidates.
Huge crowd were seen outside the houses of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA, Sushant Rout, MLA Ananta Narayan Jena and Minister Ashok Panda in Bhubaneswar on Thursday as corporator aspirants and their supporters made beelines to meet their leaders in order to obtain tickets.
In fact, the crowd was so huge at Sushant Rout’s residence that the MLA had to call the police to manage affairs.
Ajit Behera, a Corporator ticket aspirant from BJD said, “I have faith in my party and moreover, I stood with my people all these times. So I am sure, I will get the ticket to fight for Corporator from my Ward.”
The precarious situation that the BJD seems to be in after multiple candidates make lobby for the coveted ticket, reportedly arose following the landslide win in the recently concluded Panchayat elections in which it won 765 seats out of the 852 Zilla Parishad zones.
However, Minister Ashok Panda downplayed the challenge and said, “It natural for people aspiring for a ticket from the Biju Janata Dal. I am sure, the popularity of CM Naveen Patnaik will win us the ULB elections as well.”
Though not exactly similar, but ticket aspirants were spotted roaming around the homes of BJP leaders in Bhubaneswar too. The State unit of BJP has bestowed the responsibility of ticket distribution on Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi and she will be assisted by party’s Bhubaneswar District President, Babu Singh, senior leaders Harekrushna Khuntia and Jagannath Pradhan.
“We are shortlisting candidates on their winnability quotient and it will all be over within 2-3 days. The BJP will definitely perform well in this election,” claimed Babu Singh.
Similarly, the ticket distribution among aspirants in the Congress party is being carried out by senior party leader and Jatani MLA, Suresh Routray and Bhubaneswar District President, Biswajit Dash.
Speaking about the preparations of the Congress party, OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik said, “The money for the Smart City project has not been spent well and it was mostly wasted by the State government. I am sure the party will perform well in this urban elections.”
The elections to 106 Municipalities/NACs and three Municipal Corporations will be held on March 24, 2022.
Issue of Notice: February 28
Filing of Nominations—From March 2 to March 7
Scrutiny: March 9
Withdrawal of nominations: Upt o March 14
Voting: March 24
Counting of votes: March 26
Election of Deputy Mayor: April 8
Vice Chairperson Election: April 7