Mass desertion hits BJD in Titlagarh

BALANGIR: The BJD in Titlagarh has been hit by large-scale desertion in the last one week, putting Water Resources Minister and the ruling party’s candidate from the Assembly seat Tukuni Sahu in a spot of bother.

Tukuni’s go-to-guy Pramod Pradhan along with president of Western Odisha Sarpanch Mahasangha Birabara Sahu, BJD’s women wing general secretary Ranju Raiman, local leaders Panchanan Sahu and Ranjan Kwash quit the BJD last week. They formally joined the BJP in presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the saffron party’s Lok Sabha candidate from Balangir Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo and Titlagarh Assembly nominee Nabin Jain on Saturday. Besides, a dozen of sarpanchs and the former vice-chairman of Tushura NAC resigned also joined the BJP.

On Sunday, former chairperson of the State Commission for Women Jyoti Panigrahi along with her husband Saroj Panigrahi, who is also the ex-chairman of Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation, joined the BJP. The couple had quit BJD in April. Senior Congress leader Jagneswar Babu too joined the saffron party on the day.

Political observers said it is surprising that BJD is witnessing such large-scale desertion just after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Titlagarh last week to file his nomination papers. The BJD supremo is contesting from the neighbouring Assembly constituency of Kantabanji.

Sources said though Tukuni is regarded as a strong leader of the region, BJP’s Nabin is pulling more crowd than the BJD candidate. If the large crowds turn into votes, it will certainly create problems for the only woman leader from Balangir district. Meanwhile, Nabin’s poll prospects are likely to get a major boost as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Balangir and address a public meeting at Dumamara field on May 11.

A day after Modi’s visit, CM Naveen is also scheduled to tour Balangir and address three rallies at Sindhekela and Muribahal, both under Kantabanji Assembly constituency, and at Koshal Kalamandal field.

Back to top button