BERHAMPUR: As the BJD embraces leaders and workers from Opposition political parties in a bid to consolidate its position in Ganjam, it is now faced with the typical jostle for prominence within the ranks of the district party unit.
The situation is fast taking shape of a crisis with discontentment swelling among the BJD faithfuls and new entrants over grabbing major role in party affairs. Shedding the rivalry that has been fierce for long and welcoming them into the fold has emerged as a big issue.
With no dearth of leadership in the local BJD, which has witnessed an influx of leaders from different political parties in hordes, the old-timers are desperately trying to maintain their clout by sidelining the newcomers. The new entrants on their part are fervent in their attempts to grab bigger space in the party’s functioning.
The differences are clearly visible during party events particularly those that are attended by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. There emerges a stiff competition to be seen in close proximity to the BJD supremo. The old BJD hands are using everything at their disposal and even the police to prevent the newcomers from reaching the podium of Naveen during party programmes in the district, sources said.
During the last almost two decades, the BJD has converted Ganjam into its stronghold. To further turn it into an unbreachable fortress, it has been inducting leaders and workers from other parties without restraint. The effort has yielded results as desertion of prominent leaders from Congress, BJP and Left has significantly weakened their organisations in the district.
However, the party is now staring at a problem of accommodation. The discontent is palpable, though none has come out openly yet. The voices of dissent, which have been kept under the wraps so far, can surface any moment as the clamour for party tickets for the upcoming election grows.“The party will now have to contend with increase in aspirants. The old-timers will vie for their pie while the new entrants will also demand their share,” a party insider said.