In a step towards the full-fledged functioning of the Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM), the City office of the organisation was inaugurated on Monday in the Sahidnagar. The State office of the Morcha will, however, continue to function from A-111, Sahidnagar till a suitable alternative is found.
Former MLA Rajendra Singh has, meanwhile, joined the Morcha. Singh, who was a Janata Party MLA from Cuttack Sadar constituency from 1990 to 1995, is the second senior leader to have associated with Pyari.
Earlier, Jagneswar Babu, a general secretary of the BJD, had joined the Morcha on the day of its launch on September 30. Jagneswar has since been suspended from the BJD by party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for anti-party activities.
Jagneswar, the spokesman of the Morcha, alleged that the State Government is yet to allow the OJM to organise a rally at the Lower PMG square on October 28. Sources said the police have called Morcha office-bearers for a discussion on Tuesday.
Morcha had sought permission from the police to hold a rally of around 50,000 people at the Lower PMG square. However, the police maintained that a rally of only 5,000 people can be allowed. At the ‘Parivartan’ rally organised by the Congress on September 6, more than 50,000 people had attended. Putting restriction on the Morcha rally is discrimination, Jagneswar had said.
The OJM, a platform within the BJD, will work to bring reforms in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The reason behind launching of the Morcha, its ideals and aims will soon be announced by Pyari. Though nothing much has clearly been spelt out by Pyari, it is expected to attract BJD dissidents from across the State.
Babu, a known Pyari loyalist in the BJD, attended a meeting at the latter’s residence to discuss the issue. Although hinting that several BJD leaders are likely to join the Morcha, he refrained from making their names public. The names of other office-bearers will be announced by Pyari on October 19.
The Morcha is yet to make it clear as to what role it will play in the next elections and whether it will field candidates.