BHUBANESWAR: Hectic political activity went on in the BJD on Monday for selection of candidates for the Zilla Parishad president posts, election for which will be held on March 13. The BJD is set to win the post in at least 26 districts.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik interacted with the elected ZP members, MLAs, MPs and senior leaders of the party before finalising the candidates. Naveen met the elected ZP members, MLAs and senior party leaders at Naveen Niwas before deciding the candidates.
The process went on for the entire day as the Chief Minister skipped his office in the Secretariat. This is for the first time that Naveen directly interacted with the elected panchayat representatives. Ministers, MLAs and senior leaders from the district were called to Naveen Niwas when the decisions regarding the ZP president of their district were taken.
Naveen wanted that the official candidate for the post should not face any problem from other aspirants from getting elected. As the BJD won a majority in 26 out of 30 districts, there were many aspirants for the ZP president post. The post of ZP president in Jharsuguda district will go to Congress as the party has won eight out nine ZP seats in the district. In Gajapati, the situation is somewhat hazy as BJD has won seven out of 14 seats.
The Congress and BJP have won four and three seats respectively. Even though the Congress and BJP do not have any OBC candidate for the post of ZP president, the BJD needs one more seat for a clear
majority. The post of ZP president in Kandhamal district may go to the Congress which has emerged as the largest party by winning nine of the 18 seats.
The BJD has won six while BJP three seats. The BJP is likely to support Congress in the district to defeat the BJD. Election to the post in Koraput district is going to witness high drama where the BJD and the Congress are evenly poised by 14 seats each. An independent from Maoist-affected Narayanpatna Zero Mouka holds the key to the post. The BJD and Congress have started hectic efforts to get the support of Mouka, who has the support of Left parties and the Chasi Mulia Sangha.