BHUBANESWAR: The ruling BJD’s organisation polls, which began on December 27, reached its final stage with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik filing his nomination papers for the post of party president. Nomination papers were also filed for 81 member-strong state executive.
The Chief Minister was the only one to have filed nomination papers for party president, paving the way for his election to the post for the eighth time. Naveen submitted his nomination papers to state returning officer Pratap Keshari Deb at the state party headquarters here.
However, the nomination process is being seen as a mere formality as Naveen’s re-election to the post is a foregone conclusion. The organisational polls of the BJD is being held in five phases. The first three phases saw the election of presidents and committee members of gram panchayats and wards in urban areas, presidents of block committees and members in rural areas and presidents and committee members of Notified Area Councils (NACs) in urban areas and district committee presidents and members.
On February 21, the party declared the list of 33 presidents of organisational districts. As many as 14 old hands were elected as district presidents while 19 district chiefs were new faces. BJD general secretary Sanjay Das Burma told mediapersons that Naveen Patnaik, a five-time Chief Minister of Odisha, filed the nomination papers for the eighth time for the post of BJD president with 10 proposers.
The formal announcement of state executive committee members and the president will be made on February 26, he said.
Rajya Sabha member and BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra told mediapersons that the party’s prime agenda is Odisha’s development and growth. “We will continue to work for its development and that of the residents through people-friendly programmes such as Mo Sarkar and 5T,” he said.
BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra, however, said, “We had thought a new leader would be elected as president of BJD. Chief Minister and party president will be different persons. But the Chief Minister may be feeling insecure. That is why he kept both the positions.”