Resentment in BJD over party’s ticket distribution in Paralakhemundi

Paralakhemundi: Hours after the ruling-BJD announced its candidate list for first and second phase general elections in Odisha on Monday, party leaders and workers in Paralakhemundi of Gajapati district have spewed venom over the candidate selection for the Assembly constituency.

Supporters of Ex-MLA of Paralakhemundi K. Narayan Rao have openly protested the party’s decision to field Kalyani Gajapathi as the candidate for the upcoming elections in the Assembly segment scheduled to be held on April 11.

Alleging that the party has insulted Narayan Rao by not selecting him, the hundreds of supporters of K. Narayan Rao held a demonstration and ripped apart party posters and banners after the announcement of the candidate list.

“In 2000 when BJD formed coalition with the then NDA government, it supported the BJP candidate in Paralakhemundi, but we still fielded an independent candidate for BJD and had saved the party. We also continued to do the same in 2004 elections so that the party organisation would not get weak. But after giving our time and efforts to the party nothing has gone in our favour. People who joined the party recently have been granted ticket, but we, who have worked tirelessly for the development of party have been sidelined,” said Kashinagar Block Chairman, Chitra Simadri.

Threatening the party, Simadri added, “People will not accept this injustice as nearly 30,000 BJD workers will go for mass-resignation from the party.”

It may be noted that Rao was elected as the MLA of Paralakhemundi constituency in 2009, but he narrowly lost the next election in 2014 by around 2,000 votes to Congress’ K Surya Rao.