SAMBALPUR: Resentment is brewing among the local BJP leaders in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Bargarh districts over the interference of BJP leaders from Chhattisgarh in the panchayat polls. Leaders from Chhattisgarh, led by national BJP Joint Secretary (Organisation) Saudan Singh, have been guiding the local leaders on all aspects, including strategies and planning, for the rural polls.
The interference by leaders from Chhattisgarh is not only being resented by the local party workers, but it has also led to feud within the BJP here.
It is being stated that the Chhattisgarh BJP leaders are trying to implement their success formula in this part of Odisha. But sources say the ground realities of the two States are different and the experiment can backfire for the BJP, which is desperate to make a mark ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls. Moreover, with conflict over river Mahanadi being the core issue in all the three districts, the presence of the BJP leaders from across the border has the potential to harm the prospects of the party.
It is learnt that small time leaders from Chhattisgarh are calling the shots, undermining the role of national BJP secretary Suresh Pujari and Brajrajnagar MLA and Jharsuguda district BJP president Radharani Panda in the campaign.
Former Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra, however, said they are capable to win the poll on their own and any outside help is a welcome step. Reminding that the region was part of Chhattisgarh and it shares cultural and lingual affinity with the neighbouring State, Mishra said the leaders from across the border will help boost the campaign.
But the local BJP leaders said Raman Singh or any other leader from Chhattisgarh should not be invited to campaign for the party in the region.