Bhubaneswar, March 12 (LocalWire): There seems to be growing resentment within the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with the likelihood of more leaders quitting the party and joining BJP not being ruled out.
This is mainly on account of rising fear among BJD leaders that they may be denied tickets to contest the impending polls.
While chief minister and BJD supremo, Naveen Patnaik has already indicated that he could deny tickets to around 50 sitting MLAs even leaders hopeful of contesting Lok Sabha poll appear sullen following chief minister’s announcement to allot 33 percent tickets for the Lower House to women. This effectively means seven out of 21 Lok Sabha seats.
Considering that currently there are three woman Lok Sabha MPs four more seats are likely to go to women now.
That shrinks the space for men. On the other hand, leaders like Sambalpur MP, Nagendra Pradhan have already got the hint about being dropped and are reported to be negotiating with other parties.
He is likely to be replaced by BJD’s latest induction and former works secretary, Nalini Kant Pradhan.
Even Bhubaneswar MP, the saffron robed Prasanna Kumar Patsani seems unsure of his chances with the possibility of Biju Yuva Vahini chief and former Mumbai police commissioner, Arup Patnaik being fielded from the constituency being discussed. The BJP is likely to field former IAS officer, Aparajita Sarangi on this seat.
As it is former Kendrapara MP, Baijayant Panda, one-time confidant of Naveen has already joined the BJP and has also held a successful rally in his constituency sending jitters through the BJD camp.
Former minister, Damodar Rout, former union minister, Braja Kishore Tripathy and former MP, Kharvela Swain are in talks with the BJP.
The trend of influential leaders, specially BJD rebels, joining the BJP has become a cause of concern for the state’s ruling party which, even leaders within the party admit, is effectively being run by a bureaucrat lobby.
Though chief minister, Naveen Patnaik’s popularity remains still high any wrong move at this juncture could land the party in a major problem.
Ticket distribution has always been an invidious exercise and unless handled properly could cause all kinds of problems for the BJD and things could spiral out of control for the chief minister.
For the BJP, of course, this is good news and the party, according to sources, is waiting for more leaders to quit the ruling party before it finalises its list of candidates.