Jagatsinghpur/Paradip, March 29 (LocalWire): The final choice of candidates by the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik for certain seats came as a surprise to many party workers. After a lot of deliberation, the chief minister declared the names of deserving candidates for the upcoming twin elections which was strongly opposed by other ticket aspirants and their supporters in several parts of the state today.
The annoyed BJD workers resorted to protests that ranged from raising slogans, declaration of non co-operation with the candidates, burning of effigies and also blocking roads.
BJD in the Tirtol Assembly seat is divided into two fractions: supporters of district president Bishnu Das and supporters of sitting MLA Rajshree Mallick.
Supporters of Das blocked the Cuttack-Paradip state highway at Tarpur for more than three hours throwing traffic in a tizzy and burnt the effigy of Rajshree Mallick who got the Lok Sabha ticket.
Protesting her candidature, block unit president Basant Kumar Mohapatra vowed not to co-operate with her during the campaign and raised slogans of ‘Rajshree hatao, Jagatsinghpur bachao’.
He said ‘Sitting MLA Mallick has created fraction and difference in the Tirtol unit of the party so BJD leaders and workers have strongly protested her on different occasions. She has been involved in anti-party activities and we have urged the party supremo to cancel her ticket and give it to anybody other than her.’
‘BJD would certainly face defeat from Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat if her ticket is not cancelled. She has not yet established rapport in her Assembly seat and therefore there is lack of understanding among the BJD workers and leaders,’ party workers rued.
BJD workers in Paradip are also divided into two factions after the party supremo declared his choice of candidate for the Assembly seat.
Sambit Routray, son of Paradip sitting MLA Damodar Rout, who was expelled from the BJD for his anti-party activities, has been chosen as the candidate from Paradip.
After Rout’s expulsion from the party, Paradip urban BJD unit president Sumant Biswal, Paradip municipality chairman Basant Kumar Biswal, sitting MP Kulamani Samal, trade union leader Santosh Patnaik and Cuttack-Barbati MLA Debasish Samantray aspired to get the party ticket from this seat.
But surprisingly, Sumant Biswal and Basant Kumar Biswal united over the decision and conducted a meeting to seek the opinion of local party workers to support the candidature of Routray.
Former Kujang block unit president Chitaranjan Mishra said ‘we are strong supporters of BJD and since the party supremo’s decision is final we are ready to support Routray.’
BJP candidate Sampad Swain from Paradip was happy with the decision and said ‘sitting MLA Rout is now in BJP so it will be a cakewalk for us.’
Political party observers said ‘It is a golden opportunity for Rout’s son. Routray has been chosen as the BJD candidate to checkmate his father who has received the BJP party ticket to contest from Balikuda Erasama Assembly seat. Routray’s candidature would put Rout in trouble and be a hindrance to intensify campaign for the BJP candidate in Paradip.’