Power Struggle May Cost BJD Dear in Sambalpur Civic Polls

Even as the district BJD camp is upbeat about its candidates victory in Sambalpur, Rairakhol and Rengali Assembly segments besides the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, power struggle within the unit is likely to have a bearing on the upcoming civic body polls.

The development, political observers feel, may spell doom for BJD in the district in the elections to Sambalpur Municipal Corporation which are pending after the Municipality was upgraded recently.

Sources said the newly elected Chairperson of WODC Kishore Mohanty was felicitated at a function in Rengali on Monday. However, Sambalpur district BJD president and Rairakhol MLA Rohit Pujari, Rengali BJD Zilla Parishad member Anjali Pradhan and BJD block president Mukunda Behera were conspicuous by their absence. Although Pujari parried questions on the issue, it is learnt that they were not invited to the function which was organised by a handful of Mohanty’s supporters. While there is no denying the fact that Pujari strengthened the party organisation in the district, Mohanty’s attempt to undermine Pujari has not gone down well in the ranks and files of the district BJD.

BJD workers said similar attempts by former finance minister Prasanna Acharya in the past had stunted the growth of BJD in the district till Pujari donned the mantle and built up a strong organisation which paid rich dividend in the recently concluded general elections. With Mohanty treading the same path, it is bound to have a reflection on the party’s performance in the Corporation polls, they added.

In fact, the BJD had entrusted Mohanty to strengthen the party’s base during polls in Rengali block till it was made an Assembly segment after delimitation. But the ruling party’s performance was dismal under Mohanty’s leadership. The very fact that he lost Assembly polls twice in a row from Jharsuguda to Congress’ Naba Kisore Das speaks volumes about his organisational prowess.

Election Peaceful in Balangir

Balangir: The election to Balangir Municipality and Titlagarh NAC ended peacefully on Tuesday. While 52.11 per cent polling was recorded in Balangir, it was 58.83 per cent in Titlagarh. For 21 councillor posts in Balangir Municipality, 68 candidates are in fray. Of them, 21 belong to Congress and BJD each while BJP fielded 16 candidates. Ten candidates fought the election as Independents.In Titlagarh NAC, out of 15 Wards, election was held for 14 Wards as the candidate for Ward 10 was declared elected uncontested. Total 44 candidates are in the fray for the NAC. However, no untoward incident was reported from both the civic bodies. Adequate security arrangements were made in both the towns to maintain law and order. The counting of votes will start at 8 am on Wednesday.

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