Odisha Elections 2019: Jostle ensues among ticket aspirants in BJD

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the forthcoming polls, ticket aspirants in BJD have begun lobbying on the third floor of the Secretariat which is considered as the power centre of the State. A throng of sitting BJD legislators, former legislators and new aspirants was seen at the State Secretariat today. Though poll dates have not been announced yet, many controversial rumours have started percolating. It is believed that the lobbying has intensified as many sitting legislators are at the risk of losing party tickets.

Familiar but worried faces were seen at the secretariat today and Malkangiri MLA Manas Madkami was one of them. Similarly, Nuapada MLA Rajendra Dholkia, who has been attributed with the party’s success in the panchayat polls, was also seen at the secretariat today and is believed to be harbouring a big hope for a party ticket.

“The discussions about ticket are only media-generated and no one has spoken to me about it. I expect to get a party ticket,” said Manas Madkami.

Dholkia said, “BJP candidates could not win the Zilla Parishad election during the panchayat polls. The party has issued a direction asking me to strengthen the organisation in the area.”

After former Congress MLAs Jogesh Singh and Naba Das joined BJD, political equation has changed in Sundergarh and Jharsuguda and resentment seems to surfacing among existing party workers and leaders.
Begging to differ, Jogesh Singh said, “BJD workers have welcomed me and we are all united to work towards the development of Sundergarh.”

Sources said as many as 50 sitting party legislators might lose tickets. Based on a survey, the party has been focussing on 75 assembly constituencies where there is decline in popularity. MLAs against whom there are corruption charges and who have slipped in popularity rankings will be the first ones to lose party tickets.

Experts foresee a major challenge for the party to deal with dissidents, which are expected to be plenty in the current scheme of things.

Senior BJD leader and Finance Minister, Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “The party president will take a decision on tickets. The primary work has already begun. In coming days, selection of party candidates will be done within the party constitution.”