SAMBALPUR: With the BJD demolishing the Congress citadel in western Odisha, Sambalpur district in particular, it is widely believed that the region will be well represented in the Rajya Sabha.
Though the region was well represented in the RS during the Congress regime, the same has not been seen during the Janata Dal or the BJD tenure. The win has raised hopes that the BJD will nominate leaders from the area who will be game changers for the party in the 2014 polls.
After Sanatan Bisi (1994-2000) was nominated as Janata Dal candidate by Biju Babu, Pramila Bohidar (2002-2008) of Sambalpur, Mangla Kisan (2008) of Sundargarh and Kishore Mohanty (August 2009 onwards) of Jharsuguda were nominated to the Rajya Sabha as BJD nominees. However, there has been no representation from districts like Bargarh, Sonepur, Balangir and Boudh besides Sambalpur. Hence, political observers are sure that the BJD will nominate members from the region to the Rajya Sabha not only to remove the imbalances but also to build and strengthen the party.
While Jagyeswar Babu is considered to be the front runner from the region, political observers do not rule out possibility of Rohit Pujari getting nomination for steering the BJD to victory in the recently concluded panchayat polls in Sambalpur district.
The name of trade union leader and Chairman of Sambalpur Development Authority Bijay Mohanty is also doing rounds.
Even Kishore Mohanty, who got barely two and a half years in the RS, could be renominated in the interest of the party after debacle in the panchayat poll as a face saving exercise.
Sources also said AU Singhdeo could be accommodated after he had to resign following the hooch tragedy. In such a case the BJD will have to face by-elections to assert its position in the district.