After West, focus shifts to North - The New Indian Express

After West, focus shifts to North

Published: 22nd November 2012 10:46 AM

Last Updated: 22nd November 2012 10:46 AM

Even as the Congress Central observers from the AICC are assessing the party’s winnability in all the Lok Sabha constituencies in the State, the attention of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has now turned to North Odisha rally of the Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) to be held in Baripada.

The date of the North Odisha rally will be formally announced after a couple of days by the Morcha. Sources, however, said the rally will be held in the last week of December after the winter session of the Assembly. The winter session of the Assembly will be over on December 27.

As the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) will be the key factor in the Baripada rally, the BJD leadership has already started sending feelers to the State leadership of the party not to assist the OJM for the rally.

Relationship between the BJD and the JMM had become strained during the 2009 elections as the regional outfit did not have electoral understanding with the latter because of the Greater Jharkhand issue. The JMM does not have any MP or MLA from the State now.

Sources said OJM Chairman and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra has a good rapport with the JMM. The four MLAs of the JMM had extended support to Naveen Patnaik Government in 2009 after the BJP withdrew support. However, within a month, the ties between the two parties had turned sour on seat adjustments for the 2009 polls. The BJD is now again trying to renew its ties with the JMM to foil the OJM rally.

Meanwhile, the AICC has started assessing the prospects of the Congress in 21 Lok Sabha constituencies of the State. Observers deputed by the AICC on Wednesday visited Jajpur and Puri constituencies and interacted with common people and party workers to assess the popularity of different aspirants.

Sources said the AICC has put an age limit of 55 years for Lok Sabha candidates to field young and popular candidates in the constituencies.

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