BHADRAK: The campaigning for panchayat election in Bhadrak district is yet to pick up. The stalwarts of BJD and Congress have not held any public meetings here. Though it is a direct fight between the Congress and the BJD in all the seven blocks of five Assembly segments here, the BJP may fish in the internal bickerings of both the parties.
Political observers said BJP had gained some seats in the last panchayat poll following seat adjustment with BJD. But it has little chance in the ensuing panchayat election, particularly zilla parishad, as it is going it alone.
The Congress in Bhadrak Assembly segment is divided into two groups and both have fielded their candidates in almost all the seats while the situation is no different with BJD. Similar is the condition of both the major parties in Dhamnagar and Bhandaripokhari Assembly segments.
Bhadrak district BJD president MP Arjun Sethi and former MP and Congress leader in Bhadrak Ananta Sethi are worst hit by intra-party wrangling. However, the BJD leaders still are confident of wresting the seats from the Congress.
Arjun Sethi denied differences with Tourism and Culture Minister Prafulla Samal. But it is an open secret that both are stubbornly uncompromising to concede any political space. Samal, who is aggrieved after his son Lulu Samal was denied a ticket for ZP, is in no mood to compromise with the district party president, party sources said.
Nearly 125 candidates are contesting for 28 ZP zones. The three stalwarts from BJD are Jagannath Swain, the former president of ZP, Malaya Jena and Mukti Mandal, the former block chairman. Ajaya Nayak, brother of MLA Bijay Nayak, is also in the fray. All are contesting for ZP president post, party sources said.
With Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik scheduled to hold meetings in the district on February 3, observers opined that the election campaign will gain momentum after the CM’s visit.