Padayatra exposes 'rift' in BJD
The Padayatra call by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik against the Congress led UPA Government at the Center has literally turned a bane for the ruling party in Odisha. The campaign has exposed the differences among the top leaders of the party in the State.
Like at many other places in the region, factional feud has broken out in the ruling BJD in the coastal district of Balasore during the ten-day Padayatra and Jana Samparka Yatra concluded on Thursday. Deviating from the aim and objective of the campaign, the Padayatra has become a show of strength of the either group.
The feud was wide and open at the meetings in Simulia, Jaleswar and Remuna constituency areas. After Balasore district unit president of Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) Jajati Das addressed a meeting of 5000 supporters at Simulia on October 5, he was not allowed on the dais at another meeting presided over by MLA Parshuram Panigrahi on October 7.
While Das who has off late gained immense popularity in the area and is a strong contender of the party ticket for the next poll, political observers felt, it was a well-planned strategy by Panigrahi who reportedly plans to field his son from the constituency instead of supporting Das.
The scene was something different is the meetings at Jaleswar and Shalikotha on Tuesday. Though two separate meetings were organized, not a single MLA of the district including BJD district president and Bhogarai MLA Ananta Das attended the meetings. The meeting at Jaleswar was presided by Gouragopal Das and it was a muscle flexing exercise by Rajashree Mohanty, son of Housing and Urban Development Minister Raghunath Mohanty.
Sources said a group of BJD activists who had been opposing the political activities of Rajashree had manhandled him recently at a college programme in Jaleswar. Sources say as the group has close links with the party president, he reportedly preferred to abstain from the meeting. Even as the minister aims to project his son from Jaleswar, he has been facing opposition from the party carders.
Known for their close association with Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Bhogarai MLA Ananta Das, Sadar MLA Jiban Pradip Dash and Remuna MLA Sudarshan Jena are also losing ground in their respective constituencies after Dash and Jena were caught on camera during the failed 'coup' to dethrone Naveen.
Last month, the duo was also spotted at the circuit house here while discussing with a group of students leaders who have links with Mohapatra’s newly announced outfit. The two MLAs later denied their involvement with the outfit.
Both Mohanty and Das in a guarded reply said neither are the factions within the BJD nor did the meetings display any show of strength. Responding to the call of the CM, the leaders were busy exposing the corruptions of UPA government and its negligence to the State, they added.