BHUBANESWAR: Even as filing of nomination papers for the panchayat polls is over, the ruling BJD is facing the problem of rebel candidates particularly for posts of sarpanch. Out of the 30,000 nomination papers filed for the sarpanch post, about 20,000 were from the ruling BJD with at least 15 per cent being rebels.
Party insiders maintain that the situation was worse a couple of days back as there were at least half a dozen aspirants for each post from the ruling BJD alone. The situation has now become somewhat manageable due to management at the top level of the party.
BJD sources maintained that the number of rebel candidates are more in coastal Odisha districts of Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Khurda where the organisational presence of the party is better than its BJP and Congress rivals. In the Western and Southern Odisha districts, the BJP and Congress candidates have a presence.
Though election to the post of sarpanch is fought without party symbol, political parties endorse their nominees as it is central to the panchayat raj system.
Party spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy said that the rush for a BJD ticket for the post of sarpanch shows which direction the wind is blowing.Satpathy said that the number of BJP aspirants is quite less while there are no takers for Congress tickets.
“While the Congress is running after candidates to field them, the situation is quite the opposite in BJD”, he said. He, added that there is no problem in the ruling party and its candidates will win the majority of seats.
The ruling BJD has already started persuading the rebel candidates to withdraw their nomination papers. In some places, meetings of the district presidents, MLAs and observers will be called to sort out the problem before the final list of candidates will be out on January 25.