BALANGIR: With the president post of Balangir BJD unit going to Women and Child Development Minister Tukuni Sahu, political observers feel the royals are perhaps losing their political grip over the district.
Despite presence of senior leader and former Rajya Sabha MP AU Singhdeo, who is a close confidant of Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik, and his two-time MP son Kalikesh Singhdeo, the BJD district president position was given to a leader who has no royal roots. Prior to this, Kalikesh was the party president.
In the General Elections last year, Sahu had proved her political mettle by retaining the Titlagarh Assembly segment for BJD by defeating Surendra Singh Bhoi of Congress by a margin of over 19,000. She became the first woman leader from Balangir to get a ministerial berth. The Titlagarh MLA Sahu said AU Singhdeo being the seniormost leader of the party in the district, she will work under his guidance.