BHUBANESWAR: More than the challenge posed by the Opposition BJP and Congress for the panchayat elections, the BJD seems to be hard-pressed to resolve internal matters, with finalising candidates becoming a major problem.
As the filing of nomination papers entered the third day, the BJD leadership at the State and district-level were struggling to pacify the rival factions fighting for tickets. "The BJD’s problem is within and not from the Opposition political parties," a senior leader told The New Indian Express.
The BJP, however, said that it is getting ready to launch an aggressive campaign once problems with the candidate selection are over. "The party is ready with a series of issues which will be taken to the people virtually," BJP general secretary Golak Mohapatra said.
The Congress, in the meanwhile, alleged that both the parties have reached a tacit understanding ahead of the panchayat poll. Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Narasingha Mishra alleged that the BJP’s silence has proved that it is not going to seriously oppose the BJD in the panchayat elections. "We have been saying from the beginning that the BJD and BJP are two sides of the same coin," he added.
Mishra said that the first meeting of the Congress Panchayat committee will be held on January 22 to finalise the issues to be raised during the campaign.
Over 52,800 candidates filed their nomination papers on the third day. While 37,232 candidates filed nomination papers for ward members, 8947 filed papers for the post of sarpanch. Besides, 6205 and 484 candidates filed papers for the posts of panchayat samiti members and zilla parishad member.