Amid reports of covert efforts to mobilise support for the convention of the Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) of dissident BJD leader Pyarimohan Mohapatra, the BJD leadership in Sundargarh district is watching aides of sacked minister SP Nayak like a hawk.
Sources said Nayak who returned from Bhubaneswar on Saturday is in a fix as he seems to be under compulsion to prove his unflinching loyalty to BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik.
While Nayak has time and again distanced himself from Pyari, names of his aides are being raised with suspicion by Nayak’s detractors.
Scores of posters of OJM were found in Uditnagar, Amabagan and Bondamunda areas.
However, the BJD leaders seem to attach little significance to Pyari’s support base in the district. They said lesser-known entities of the Nirman Mazdoor Sabha and a few others having little acceptability are seeking to take some construction workers for the head count.
Rourkela BJD president A Mohanty said the impact of OJM is negligible and estimated that hardly 150 labour class people from the district would participate in the convention. Mohanty said that Minister Subrat Tarai, Nayak, Rajya Sabha member Mangla Kisan and a host of elected BJD leaders are camping in the district to keep BJD flock together.
While dozens of OJM followers are reportedly left for Bhubaneswar by the Puri-Rourkela passenger train, remaining are likely to leave in the night by train and buses.
Meanwhile, BJD workers on Saturday evening burnt the effigy of Pyari at Biju Patnaik Square. Similar programmes have been scheduled for Sunday at different locations of the district.