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New district BJD chief Baka faces faction challenge  

Baka had filed his nomination before the election officer Adma Rawa only a few hours before his name was announced as the party’s district unit president. 

Published: 22nd February 2020 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2020 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

Chitrakonda MLA Purna Chandra Baka

Chitrakonda MLA Purna Chandra Baka

By Express News Service

MALKANGIRI: The State BJD leadership on Friday announced Chitrakonda MLA Purna Chandra Baka, a first-time legislator, as the party’s district president.

Baka’s name was reportedly proposed by former MLA Mukund Sodi and seconded by party leader Durga Tripathy. Both Sodi and Tripathy were contenders for the post.

Apart from Sodi and Tripathy, Special Development Council Chairman and former MLA Manas Madkami, as well as senior BJD leader Mehenga Singh’s son Pritpal Singh, were also in the race. 

Baka had filed his nomination before the election officer Adma Rawa only a few hours before his name was announced as the party’s district unit president. 

Sources said this was a well-planned strategy of the BJD high command to avoid election which could have put the party in a spot of bother due to infighting at the local level.

If party insiders are to be believed, factionalism has raised its head in the district BJD and would further deepen in the coming days despite Baka being handed over the reins.

Political analysts opined that the State BJD leadership nominated a junior member as the district unit chief by ignoring the senior players which may cost the party dear.

Though the party leadership has managed to diffuse the growing tension among local leaders, it would be a tough challenge for the newly-appointed BJD president to keep the flock together at a time when BJP is strengthening its base in the district.

Now, it remains to be seen how Baka will keep the party’s rank and file united ahead of the urban local body (ULB) elections which are slated to be held later this year.

Notably, the BJD had lost the Malkangiri Assembly seat and the Zilla Parishad to BJP in the last elections.

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