SAMBALPUR: The infighting in the Sambalpur unit of BJD came out in the open again on Saturday when State Yuva BJD secretary Sanjit Mohanty refused to join the party’s Jan Sampark Padyatra at Burla as he was not extended an official invite by Sambalpur MLA, Raseswari Panigrahi.
Sources said the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik had asked both Panigrahi and Mohanty to broker peace and put up a united face during the padyatra and even deputed observers to ensure that the cracks are cemented. However, Panigrahi reportedly offered to resign rather than invite Mohanty.
The BJD Sambalpur Assembly Constituency organised the padyatra, which was flagged off from DFC Guest House and culminated with a meeting at Bharati Club in Burla. Although Sanjit was supposed to join the padyatra with his supporters, he refused to participate on the ground that he was unaware of the itinerary. Moreover, it is learnt that neither Panigrahi nor district BJD president Pramod Rath extended him a formal invitation. Rajya Sabha Member Prasanna Acharya and Bhatli MLA Sushanta Singh participated in the padyatra.
Deputy Chief Whip Rohit Pujari, former Rajya Sabha member Pramila Bohidar, Zilla Parishad member Sobhagini Naik, District Youth BJD president Subhas Jena, vice-president Mohit Nayak, District Mahila BJD president Usha Pradhan and other State BJD functionaries were also not invited and refrained from participating in the event.
Sanjit was ignored by Panigrahi at the padyatra at Hirakud on October 2 following which, he had organised a padyatra on October 7, also at Hirakud, under the banner of Yuva BJD which was attended by all BJD leaders in the district.