The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha appears to be grappling with the problem of plenty with as many as 10,000 aspirants looking forward to enter the fray while there are only 168 tickets on offer (147 Assembly seats and 21 Lok Sabha seats).
For more than 150 years, the Department of Posts (DoP) has been the backbone of the country’s communication and has played a crucial role in the country’s social and economic development.
Though the Congress activists, leaders led by Odisha Pradesh Congress President Sarat Pattanayak and senior leaders managed to break the initial security cordon, they entered into a scuffle with security personnel when they tried to break other cordons.
The BJP’s new political gambit has pushed the BJD on the back foot. The party workers will hand out Shakti Samman Patra to SHG presidents, secretaries, MBKs, CRPs, Bankmitras, community staff, Pranimitra, assistant cook, Anganwadi workers and ASHAs, even as the party has been carrying out Nari Shakti Vandan workshops at various places.
Nayak lashed out at the government for not allowing journalists to enter the secretariat. “The secretariat is not anybody’s parental property. Journalists will move outside the Assembly when it will be in session. What do you think of people? The secretariat is the property of 4.50 crore people. It is not the property of the coterie that has been hatching all conspiracies,” he added.
As the elections are drawing closer, the BJD is struggling with the problem of plenty in its Ekamra, Madhya and Uttar constituencies in Bhubaneswar. Parallel organizations by warring groups are giving indication of factionalism which could spell more trouble only after the announcement of nominees.
As per reports, a group of disgruntled workers and leaders held a meeting at Naripur on Saturday. The meeting was held at the residence of former minister Jugal Patnaik. A group of frontline leaders like Asit Patnaik and many other unhappy workers spoke against the legislator.
If sources are to be believed, the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah among others are likely to be announced in the first phase. A meeting of the Central Election Committee of the BJP is said to be held on February 29 to finalise the names. However, it is not clear if some candidates for Odisha will find a place in the list.
The Congress leader alleged, "Naveen Babu is misusing the officials in various works. Collectors are told to collect funds while police officials and superintendents of police are asked to arrest the BJD leaders who are going against the party. Even journalists are not spared ahead of the elections.”
The government on Saturday announced that 34 new Notified Area Councils (NACs) in 20 districts have been formed and, at the same time, five NACs in four districts have been upgraded into municipalities.
BJP’s National Vice President and the election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, Baijayant Panda participated in the meeting. Moreover, BJP’s Odisha in-charge Vijaypal Singh Tomar and co-in-charge Lata Usendi among others attended the meeting which was inaugurated by the party’s National President, JP Nadda.
The ECI has asked the State governments including Odisha to ensure that officials are not able to disturb the level playing field in the elections.
While some agencies have claimed in their surveys that the Opposition BJP will clinch 20 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats in the State, few others see ruling BJD garnering 18 seats. Voters in the State seem baffled.
As such, the model code of conduct (MCC) will come into effect after the ECI makes the announcement.
The BMC has decided to do so under the guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI).