JEYPORE: The much-hyped unanimity among political parties for Kotia has fallen flat with BJP withdrawing its support to the consensus candidate Mamata Jani of Kotia panchayat for the Zilla Parishad (ZP) zone-I seat in Pottangi block.
The BJP’s U-turn has raised many eyebrows as it had earlier been decided to field a common nominee backed by all parties for the greater cause of Kotia, to enable greater development of the panchayat while putting up sign of political solidarity against increasing overtures by Andhra Pradesh.
Announcing the withdrawal of support to Jani, district party president Sumant Pradhan said the decision was taken as none of the parties gave scope to a BJP candidate to file nomination for the ZP seat.
“We are fighting for the greater cause of the motherland but now, will not support any ZP candidate under zone one in Pottangi,” he said, adding that the BJP will not allow the use of any party symbol or pictures of its party leaders in the consensus candidate’s banners.
All parties convenor and district BJD president Iswar Panigrahi said the statement of BJP district president has created confusion as the party’s State unit and local cadres are still supporting Jani.
On the other hand, Congress workers in Pottangi are seen engaging in active campaigning to win support for the consensus candidate.
Former Pottangi MLA and Congress leader Ramchandra Kadam said,”We are supporting consensus candidate Mamata Jani as per all parties decision for the cause of Kotia,” he said.
On January 21, Mamata Jani filed her nomination as the consensus nominee from Kotia for the ZP zone one seat. However, two independent candidates Tikai Gamel and Sabina Budia too filed papers on the same day. As political leaders wanted Jani to win uncontested, they tried to convince Gamel and Budia to withdraw their papers. While Budia consented and withdrew on Tuesday, Gamel continues to remain in the fray for the ZP seat.