KEONJHAR: Keonjhar is witnessing fights by political rivals from same families in the three-tier panchayat elections. BJD MLA from Patna and chairman of the district planning board Jagannath Naik's brother Satyabrata Naik has entered the poll arena as a BJP candidate for the Zilla Parishad (ZP) member post. Interestingly, their father is a former Janata Dal MLA from the area.
Satyabrata is contesting from ZP zone 21 in Patna Assembly segment represented by his younger brother Jagannath. Interestingly, the MLA has pitted one Prafulla Naik as BJD's candidate against his brother from the zone.
Sources said the political climate in Patna has heated up after Satyabrata's candidature. The election is a litmus test for both the BJD and BJP as winning the ZP seat has become a prestige issue for the ruling party legislator. Zone 21 consists of Khireitangiri, Baunshuli, Chemna, Budhikapudi, Jamunaapashi and Kantiapada panchayats. Jagannath is leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory of all candidates backed by BJD.
Curiously, Satyabrata had contested the 2004 Assembly election from Patna as a Congress candidate but lost by a narrow margin. The siblings' father Kahnu Charan Naik was the MLA from Patna from the erstwhile JD in 1990 and is also active in politics with Jagannath. Satyabrata said he has been associated with the BJP for a long time. Voters are in favour of a change and have faith in BJP. "I will definitely win from the ZP seat," he asserted.
Similarly, another rivalry between siblings is playing out in ZP zone 25 in Banspal block of the district. Aruna Kumar Barik and his brother Ranjit are fighting against each other for the seat. Aruna has filed nomination as the BJD candidate while Ranjit is the BJP's nominee. Both are running their campaigns from the same house after filing their nominations.