BJD, BJP, Cong target 2017 Panchayat polls

Bhubaneswar: As 2016 sets in with celebrations among people cutting across class and political affiliations, the three major political parties in Odisha – BJD, BJP, Congress – will definitely face an uphill task in facing the challenges ahead in the new year.

For BJD, smooth completion of the organizational poll will be the first and foremost challenge in 2016. As some rift had come to the fore during the BJD’s ten-day Jansampark Padyatra last October, the party would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the organisational polls, which will be held in five phases, pass off without any hitch.

Sources said the ruling party will completely restructure its students, youth and women’s wings this year.

Besides, the BJD leadership will have to think hard while choosing its candidate for the three Rajya Sabha seats for which elections would be held this year. Notably, the tenure of two BJD MPs and one independent in the Upper House
will be over in 2016.

Above all, the party is likely to face a challenge during civic bodies polls in Sambalpur and Rourkela, which are going to be held this year.

Elaborating on the party’s goal, BJD vice-president Prasanna Acharya said, “We will proceed keeping our commitment towards the people of the State in mind and will definitely succeed.”

“The panchayat election will be held in the State in 2017 and process for this will begin towards the end of 2016,” he added.

Meanwhile, Opposition Congress will face a tough task in resolving its infighting. At this juncture, the grand old party will have to do some serious brainstorming to chalk out plans for the panchayat elections in 2017 which is being seen as a semi-final for the party before the Assembly election in 2019.

OPCC president Prasad Harichandan said, “We will reach out to more people at the panchayat level in 2016. The organization is fully prepared to take the people’s fight forward during the 2017 panchayat polls.”

BJP too will face a tough challenge in 2016 in electing its State president on consensus. As the party has planned to present a new team before the people of the State, it is to be seen how the saffron party tides over the difficulties and succeeds.

Speaking to mediapersons, BJP state President KV Singhdeo said, “After completion of organisational polls in 2016, we will start preparing for the 2017 Panchayat polls and 2019 Assembly poll.”

Political pundits are keenly watching the moves of the three parties, which are getting battle ready for the panchayat polls and are expecting a big fight next year.