Will MP Jay Panda’s resignation cost BJD dear?

Bhubaneswar: Kendrapara MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda quitting the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) amid simmering discontentment surprised many. Now, discussions are on about the ramifications that Panda’s resignation will have on Odisha’s political landscape and especially, BJD.

The articulate and well-networked leader’s decision has rattled the ruling party and speculations are on if dissatisfied BJD leaders will follow Panda.

Earlier, senior leaders like Jayaram Pangi and Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh tendered their resignations protesting interference of bureaucracy in party affairs- something that MP Panda had been urging the BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to look into.

“Resentment within the party is brewing. More BJD leaders will quit the party ahead of the 2019 general elections and the party will fall like a house of cards,” said Baliarsingh.

“Baijayant Panda was also humiliated by the BJD the way I was. Followers of Biju Babu can never sustain in BJD. Panda’s resignation is a big loss for the party,” said Pangi, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after quitting BJD last year.

Similarly, senior Congress leader Suresh Kumar Routray said CM Naveen has done a big mistake and he is unable to understand that people close to him are hatching a conspiracy against him.

“Ground is slipping from under Naveen’s feet. One day he will drown and may not even realise it,” said Routray.

Food Supplies Minister, Surya Narayan Patro on the other hand said “In a political party exodus and influx are common phenomena; and so, disassociation of a particular member will not have any impact on the party.”

Meanwhile, internal rift and animosity between members, legislators and parliamentarians seem to be growing within the BJD. The recent scuffle between two groups of BJD during the Mahanadi Suraksha Abhiyan of the party in Daspalla of Nayagarh district is a testimony to the brewing tension within the party.

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