Odisha panchayat polls: Voices of dissent in BJD over candidate selection

On Monday, BJD workers of Naharana and Alabola panchayats in Balikuda block staged road blockade protesting selection of candidates by the committee by Minister Raghunadan Das.

Published: 19th January 2022 08:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th January 2022 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: The district unit of BJD has become a divided house over selection of candidates for the posts of sarpanch, samiti members and Zilla Parishad member ahead of the panchayat elections scheduled to be held in five phases from February 16.

On Monday, BJD workers of Naharana and Alabola panchayats in Balikuda block staged road blockade protesting selection of candidates by the committee by local MLA and Water Resources Minister Raghunadan Das.

The agitators alleged that supporters of Jagatsinghpur MLA and district BJD president Prashant Muduli were ignored by the selection committee. 

To prevent any further flare-up of the situation, members of the selection committee led by general secretary of Jagatsinghpur BJD Prakash Pradhan assured the agitating workers of party support following which the blockade was withdrawn.

Discontentment is also brewing in different panchayats of Naugaon and Jagatsinghpur blocks over selection of candidates. Sources said candidates backed by the camps of Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation Ltd (OSCDC) chairman Amarendra Das and Muduli are vying for sarpanch and panchayat samiti member tickets, leading to conflict in the local unit of BJD. 

The situation is similar in Tirtol Assembly constituency. Accusing Tirtol MLA Bijay Sankar Das of ignoring her, chairperson of Raghunathpur Swapna Sarita Bala alleged that she was not invited to take part in selection of candidates in her block. She is reportedly unhappy with the candidates selected by the party in Raghunathpur. 

Besides, there have been a string of resignations in BJD over candidate selection. Party president of Alana panchayat in Naugaon Ranjan Biswal resigned from his post after the candidates backed by him were denied tickets.

District secretary of BYJD, the party's youth wing, Biswajit Das has also put in his papers alleging non-cooperation of the Tirtol MLA. 

However, BJD's Jagatsinghpur unit president Muduli said the number of aspirants in BJD is more in each panchayat. Those denied party tickets will be unhappy. Muduli said he is yet to receive any resignation letters from local BJD leaders.


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