MALKANGIRI: Race for the post of district BJD president has picked up pace with three contenders throwing their hat in the ring. Former Malkangiri MLA Manas Madkami, as well as Special Development Council Chairman, has filed his papers with party’s district election officer. Similarly, ex-MLA Mukund Sodi and son of former municipality chairperson Pritpal Singh have also submitted their papers with BJD’s State election officer at Bhubaneswar.
The candidates have already started groundwork to mobilise support within the party in their favour. While BJD leaders claimed that the district president will be elected unanimously, sources said various State leaders have thrown their support for the respective candidates and intensified lobbying to get them elected. Like in the past, the State BJD leaders are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the candidates of their choice get to the post. Political analysts opine that the party suffered badly in the last Zilla Parishad polls and General Elections as State leaders supported their respective candidates without knowing the ground realities like organisational skills and popularity among people.
BJD had lost the Malkangiri Assembly constituency to BJP but managed to retain Chitrakonda seat by a close margin. If a similar situation prevails during the organisational polls, the party will face factionalism which will send a negative message to people, said a BJD insider.
Although BJD leaders claim the party leadership will take a final call on the matter and select the best candidate to avoid factionalism, the new district president will face dissidence from other contenders and it would not be easy for him to fight the municipality and Balimela NAC elections, slated to be held later this year, while keeping the party rank and file united. As uncertainty looms large over their fate, the candidates refrained from giving any statement on the issue. Election to the post of district BJD president will be held on February 15.