Elections 2019: Growing dissidence forcing ‘strategy change’ in BJD?

With 2019 polls no longer looking like a cake walk for the BJD, it is believed that the party is seriously considering a change in its plan and line of attack to take on its opponents and put its 'house of dissidents' in order

Bhubaneswar: With growing dissidence within the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) following the release of its candidate list, the party has reportedly braced itself up to bring immediate changes in its strategy of ticket allotment.

The BJD is so much wary of the brewing resentment within the party that even after selection of candidates for the renaming nine Lok Sabha seats for the 2019 polls, the party is reportedly refraining from making any announcement.

Speculations are rife that the BJD will have to face a tougher challenge while announcing tickets for the third and the fourth phase elections in the State. It is discussed that the BJD is planning to wait till the announcement of candidates by the State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to declare its tickets.

State BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, “The party which had once won 117 seats (in 2014 polls), is now fielding candidates like Chandrasekhar Sahu and Bikram Panda (Congress leaders who recently joined the BJD). They are dependent on other party leaders who joined them like Jogesh Singh and daughter of Hemananda Biswal.”

Responding to the comment, BJD leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said, “The BJP is fielding our people who have not got tickets. They (BJP) are dependent on our leaders. If we secretly allot tickets to our candidates without making any announcement, I think the BJP couldn’t even contest the elections,”

In the meantime, resentment continues to surface within the BJD. MLA Dhaneswar Majhi expressed his disappointment after Bhupinder Singh was given ticket for Narla Assembly seat. “The party neglected me. I don’t know the reason of being neglected by the party like this,” said Majhi. Moreover, another sitting MLA of BJD Basanti Mallick also resigned from the party today. Later in the day Mallick joined the BJP in presence of Odisha party chief Basant Panda and other senior leaders.

Commenting on the growing dissidence among party leaders, BJD vice president Prasanna Acharya said, “It’s an old and natural process; such things happen across the country whenever a particular party allots tickets.”