Rush for Ticket in BJD for BMC Polls
Hectic parleys are on in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for tickets to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls as there are more than two dozen aspirants for some of the seats, posing a problem for the leadership even as the nomination process is set to get underway from Monday.
The rush for tickets is more in the BJD compared to the Congress and the BJP as the ruling party is likely to continue the winning streak in the BMC polls also. Sources said all the BJD corporators in the outgoing council are unlikely to be given tickets. Member of the BJD’s committee for BMC polls and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das said no policy decision has been taken to give tickets to all outgoing corporators.
The final decision rests with party president Naveen Patnaik, he said, adding that a meeting of the committee will be held on Monday. But ticket distribution will be finalised either on December 17 or 18, he said. Das said that aspirants having criminal records will not be considered for tickets. Winnability of a candidate will be the major factor for getting BJD ticket, he said and added that five to 25 aspirants have applied in each of the 67 wards.
The Congress has, however, decided to renominate all the four corporators who were in the outgoing council. Besides, there are 13 candidates who had lost election last time by less than 50 votes and all of them will also be given tickets, Bhubaneswar District Congress Committee (DCC) president Manoranjan Das said. There are 15 more candidates who had lost election last time by 100 to 200 votes. They are also most likely to be given tickets after persuading other candidates to withdraw from the fray, he said. The Congress will announce its first batch of candidates on Monday and the rest by Tuesday. The candidate selection committee will meet to finalise the candidates in all the 67 wards.
The fight will be mostly triangular as the BJP will also field candidates in most of the seats. It is still uncertain whether the Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) will enter the fray as the party may not use the kite symbol as the decided by the State Election Commission (SEC).