ROURKELA: Ahead of the president’s election in the prestigious Sundargarh Zilla Parishad (ZP) council, the BJD leadership seems set to tread a tightrope amid intense lobbying between the warring factions of BJD Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak and Rajya Sabha member Mangla Kisan.
As the two BJD powerhouses worked separately to ensure a comfortable majority of 19 seats in the 35-member ZP, it is natural for them to want their candidate at the helm of affairs.
Insiders say the decision of high command will be final and binding, but it would not be easy to finalise a suitable candidate agreeable to both the factions.
Pitrus Toppo of Lefripara (A), Dasarath Oram of Bonai (B), Tarsisius Lakra of Subdega (A) and Uttam Kisan of Lahunipara (A) have emerged as front-runners for the prestigious post.
Governance qualification apart, the BJD has to strike a balance in tune with electoral equations with an eye on the general elections in 2014. As a sizeable minority Christian votes drifted from BJD, one faction insists on Toppo and Lakra to consolidate Christian votes. Toppo is a retired schoolteacher and Lakra retired from the Central Excise Department.
While the inexperienced young Kisan, son of former MLA and RDA chairman Dayanidhi Kisan, has dim chances, Oram with his in-depth knowledge of the functioning of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) could be a serious contender.
Lobbyists from the Sundargarh organisational district are backed by Mangla, while the Rourkela unit has the support of Nayak.