Elections 2019: Trouble Mounts for BJP in Bargarh

Resignation of Subash Chouhan and then nine ZP members from the BJP has raised questions over the credibility of State leadership of the saffron party in pacifying the intolerance among workers and the shrinking space for dissent

Bhubaneswar: Wrong selection of candidate for wrong constituency sometimes spoils a party’s poll prospects and the same seems to have happened with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency of Odisha where exodus from the party continues unabated. After Subash Chauhan, nine Zilla Parishad members of the party have now resigned allegedly over ‘wrong candidate selection’.

Subash Chauhan, who had unsuccessfully contested the Bargarh LS seat in 2014 elections, had polled over 3, 72, 000 votes in 2014- the highest polled by any saffron party leaders in Odisha- but he lost the battle to BJD’s Prabas Singh by around 11, 000 votes, which is also the narrowest margin by which a BJP candidate lost during the polls in the State.

Former BJP Leader Subash Chauhan
Later, during the panchayat elections in the State in 2017, the BJP won 25 of the 34 Zilla Parishads in Bargarh district and it was then believed that Chauhan would certainly won from the parliamentary constituency. However, he was denied ticket from Bargarh for the upcoming polls following which he resigned from the party and joined Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

But the exodus didn’t stop after the resignation of Chauhan, as nine Zilla Parishad members of the party have now resigned and are likely to join the BJD. Their joining will increase BJD’s strength to 18 in the 34-member Zilla Parishad and the present ZP chairperson may have to resign paving the way for the BJD to take over.

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Moreover, BJP’s Bargarh district vice president Prasant Kumar Majhi has also resigned from the party. Following these discontentment, all those calculations of BJP in Bargarh has gone haywire; and now, the party will have to come up with immediate solution to put things on the track.

Bargarh will go to the polls in the second phase elections in the State on April 18.