BHUBANESWAR: With over a dozen of rebels still in fray, the ruling BJD’s chair chase in the urban elections is likely to become tough in the State Capital. A total 52 candidates have taken back their candidature by Monday.
Though the party managed to convince a large number of rebels including several former corporators to drop their nominations, there are still a large number of aspirants who have decided to fight the elections as independents after being denied ticket for corporator seats in the March 24 ULB elections.
Despite all efforts, the ruling party has not been able to persuade aspirants including those in Wards 14, 15, 37 and 19. Rebels in some other wards including Wards 4,9, 18, 20, 41 and 65 who were aspiring to contest polls on BJD ticket are also in the fray for the corporator seats as independents.
One of the BJD leaders and former corporator admitted that too many aspirants was a major headache for the party. The party had also not released its candidate list during nomination filing fearing infighting.
“With just 67 wards, it was extremely difficult for the party to distribute tickets. Though some of us agreed to withdraw our nominations at a later stage, there are other aspirants who decided to fight as independents as they were hopeful of getting a party ticket this time,” he said.
The ruling party leaders, however, said that under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and good governance, the public support for BJD is overwhelming which will reflect upon the urban elections and the party’s performance will be even better than the previous civic polls.