Caught in a cleft stick of BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik and suspended party MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra are a section of local leaders, including deposed minister Sarada Prasad Nayak. And they are reportedly making all efforts to prove their loyalty to Naveen ahead of the formal launch of Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) by Pyari.
BJD insiders admitted a sense of distrust prevails against the leaders foisted by the former minister Sarada with support of Pyari. In contrast, Sarada and others are reluctant to risk their political career in the changed scenario and struggling to cosy up to Naveen.
On Monday, a scene was created at the circuit house in Sundargarh in the presence of BJD observer Narendra Swain when newly-appointed Zilla Parishad chairman Pitrus Toppo reached uninvited and entered into a verbal duel with BJD’s Sundargarh unit president and Rajya Sabha member Mangla Kisan. Pitrus, once close to Sarada, accused Mangla of deliberately sidelining him and told Swain that he was a staunch BJD supporter.
Meanwhile, Naveen loyalists have strengthened surveillance to find out if any BJD members are supporting the OJM.
Sources said the HMS national vice-president Rajendra Prasad Singh may take the lead in mobilising support for the OJM. It is claimed three buses would carry 200 Pyari supporters to the upcoming convention of OJM.
Odisha unit HMS working president BD Barik , however, at a press conference on Wednesday sought to distance the trade union from Rajendra and the OJM.
Rourkela unit BJD president AC Mohanty said the OJM would have little impact in Sundargarh district.