Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: It seems that the ruling-Biju Janta Dal (BJD) is now experiencing turbulence ahead of the crucial elections as reports of rift within the party are coming to fore thick and fast. A day after a scuffle broke out between two factions of BJD in Malkangiri, party workers in several constituencies are now raising their voices against the party's sitting MLAs.

Scores of party workers from Niali today reached Naveen Niwas, the official residence of Odisha CM and BJD president Naveen Patnaik to vent their anger against local MLA of the party, Pramod Mallick.

Accusing Mallick of being involved in corrupt percentage commission (PC) practice, the party workers urged Naveen Patnaik not to offer him ticket to contest in the upcoming polls.

“We feel ashamed that our sitting MLA is involved in corrupt practices and it is affecting the image of our party,” alleged a BJD worker from Niali.

Apart from Mallick, resentment among party workers is also brewing against Sambalpur MLA, Raseswari Panigrahi and Birmaharajpur legislator Padmanabh Behera.

“No doubt she (Raseswari Panigrahy) is a good leader but she has failed miserably on ushering in development in the region. We hope the election results in the constituency will be in our favour if there is a change of candidate,” said a party worker from Sambalpur.

In his reaction, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “I am not worried whether I will get party ticket or not. I have faith on the party chief and his leadership."

“As a disciplined activist of the party, I will obey the decision of party high command. His decision is final,” said Raghunath Mohanty, BJD leader.