Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM), floated by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) rebel Pyarimohan Mohapatra on September 30, ostensibly to bring reforms in the regional outfit, will launch a vigorous membership drive after its rally at the Lower PMG on October 28.
The aim of the Morcha would be to bring together BJD workers from across the State and Biju loyalists who are in other political parties on a single platform. The Morcha, a ‘pressure group’ within the BJD, for the time will try to democratise its functioning.
The Morcha has so far attracted two senior leaders who have associated with it openly. The chief spokesperson of the OJM Jagneswar Babu, a general secretary in the BJD, was suspended from the regional outfit by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Jagneswar had described the BJD supremo’s statement that the Morcha is a B team of Congress as irresponsible. Former Janata Dal MLA from Cuttack Sadar constituency Rajendra Singh has also joined the Morcha.
Sources said many Biju loyalists are in touch with the Morcha. Besides, several BJD dissidents are also keeping a close watch on the developments to switch sides at an opportune moment.
Political observers are keenly waiting for October 19 when Mohapatra is going to spell out the objectives of the Morcha. He is also expected to speak against Naveen for the first time after he was suspended from the party following the May 29 attempted coup.
The OJM rally has also become significant as its success will provide a boost to the anti-Naveen forces in the State and hasten the process of their coming under a platform. However, Mohapatra is yet to spell out anything on the Morcha.
Sources said, at first Morcha will try to put pressure on the leadership of the regional outfit to hold meetings of different committees in the BJD. The reform process will also be taken to the district-level and grassroots to seek democratic functioning of the party.