BJD grappling with intra-party feuds ahead of general elections

Bhubaneswar: While the Odisha assembly elections are a few weeks away, ruling-BJD is grappling with intra-party feuds in many of the constituencies.

Two groups of Biju Yuva Vahini engaged in a pitched battle in Bhograi block of Balasore district over distribution of mobile phones yesterday. Some police officials and BJD leaders, who tried to intervene and resolve the matter, were locked in a room by irate locals.

Ahead of the CM’s visit to Chandbali Assembly constituency yesterday, there was a face-off between supporters of Chandbali MLA Byomakesh Ray and his opponents. Later, vehicle of BJD Bhadrak MP Arjun Charan Sethi at Digachhia bazaar was stopped to seek his intervention.

“Resentment has been simmering in the party. When the Bhadrak MP Arjun Sethi returned, one group lodged their grievances as their vehicle was damaged by supporters of the Chandbali MLA,” alleged Pratap Dhal, BJD district vice president, Bhadrak.

On the other hand, Ray said the dissident group is creating the disturbance with support from BJP. “With the support of BJP the opponents are playing this drama. Action will be taken against those who are involved in anti-party activities,” Ray said.

“There are differences between Pratap Dhal and Byomakesh Ray. It would have gone out of proportion, had we not intervened,” said Sethi.

A few days back some party activists of Brajarajnagar constituency had gathered in front of Naveen Niwas opposing MLA Aunp Sai.

According to sources, there has been growing resentment in BJD because of differences between sitting party MLAs and ticket aspirants in most of the constituencies. On the other hand, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said though there are differences in the party, there is no indiscipline.

“Though there are differences in the party, leaders have managed to dissuade them,” Behera stated.