BHUBANESWAR: With only 48 hours remaining for the first phase panchayat polls, the ruling BJD remains uncertain over how the voters will behave in Mayurbhanj district which has slipped out of the party’s grip since the 2017 rural elections. The BJP had almost made a clean sweep in the 2017 panchayat elections by winning 49 ZP zones out of the total 56 while the tally of the ruling BJD was only 5. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and independents had won from one seat each.
The supremacy of BJP continued in the 2019 assembly elections with the party candidates winning from six seats out of the total eight in the district with the remaining two seats going to the BJP. Despite attempts, BJD could not win from the Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 election. BJP candidate Bishweswar Tudu defeated BJD candidate Dr Debashis Marndi by margin of 25,256 in the Lok Sabha.
As Mayurbhanj district remained under the BJP influence despite repeated attempts by the ruling party, party heavyweight Pranab Prakash Das has been entrusted with the charge to better the performance of the party. Das has been working in the district since the last three years to win back the district from the BJP hold.
However, BJP sources remained confident about the party’s prospects in the district. Inclusion of Tudu in the Union cabinet has further strengthened the party organisation in the district, party general secretary and BJP observer for Mayurbhanj district Golak Mohapatra told this paper. Though Mohapatra did not forecast the number of ZP zones the party will win from the district, he said that the party is in a very comfortable position and form the Parishad again in the district.