PARADIP: A poster war between Paradip MLA Damodar Rout’s son and local BJD leaders ahead of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to the port town has exposed the rift in the ruling party’s Jagatsinghpur district unit.On Thursday, posters of Dama’s son Sambit Routray, who is also the State BJD secretary, came up in the town for the final leg of BJD’s ‘Mahanadi Surakshya Abhiyan,’ which will culminate at Paradip on Friday. Though Sambit’s posters had photos of father Dama and CM Naveen, the pictures of Paradip Municipality president Sumant Biswal and chairman Basant Biswal were missing.
Similarly, Sumant and Basant also put up striking publicity materials with photos of local MLA Dama, Naveen and MP Kulamani Samal but ignored State BJD secretary Sambit.While these different sets of posters have brought to fore the growing differences in the local unit of the BJD, Dama has sought cooperation of all ruling party leaders and supporters in Paradip to make Friday’s event a success.
As per reports, several local BJD leaders are opposed to the entry of Sambit into politics. As there is a possibility of Dama being denied a party ticket due to old age, local senior BJD leaders are eyeing for Paradip seat. With Sambit strengthening his position in BJD with the State secretary post, the leaders consider him as a threat to their political aspirations, sources said.
Aware of the internal bickering, Dama is treading a cautious path by taking opinions of different BJD leaders to avoid any awkward situation during the party event.The CM will attend the concluding leg of BJD’s ‘Mahanadi Surakshya Abhiyan’ at Kalinga Baliyatra ground here. Naveen had flagged off the campaign at Sukhasoda in Jharsuguda district on May 16. The campaign will culminate at Paradip after covering a distance of 1,585 km by passing through 15 districts and 45 constituencies.
While Health Minister Pratap Jena and BJD leader Sanjay Das Burma are camping in Paradip for the event, the district administration has put in place adequate security arrangements for the CM’s visit. On the day, Inspector General of Police Soumyendra Priyadashi, Collector Yamini Sarangi, SP Prakash R and other higher officials took stock of the arrangements at the venue.Naveen is scheduled to inaugurate the Biju Science Park at Marine drive before proceeding towards Kalinga Baliyatra ground for the concluding ceremony of the Mahanadi campaign.