Odisha Elections: Know Who In BJD Are Worried Over One-Family-One-Ticket Formula

Bhubaneswar: With aspirants making a beeline for party tickets to contest the upcoming twin polls in Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) seems to have adopted the one-family-one-ticket principle.

Several senior BJD legislators appear to be keen not just on seeking re-election but also on fielding their sons or brothers or close relatives in the ensuing polls.

However, the policy of one ticket for one family appears to have left many leaders of the ruling party worried and disillusioned. After senior leader Arindam Roy, brother-in-law of BJD organising secretary Pranab Prakash Das, quit the regional party and joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently reportedly over the one-ticket per family norm, many in the ruling outfit are now spending sleepless nights. They are apprehensive of uncertain future and even an end of their political career.

Now question arises why Arindam quit the BJD and joined the BJP just before the elections. It is being said that he wanted to contest the upcoming election from Barabati-Cuttack assembly constituency on a BJD ticket, which put Bobby in a tight spot. Bobby, undoubtedly a powerful BJD leader, could have tried to ensure a prominent position for Arindam in the government. But nothing of that sort happened for Arindam, who joined the BJD in 2009 and subsequently married Bobby’s sister.

After BJD sent Debasish Samantray to Rajya Sabha, the prospects of being nominated from Barabati-Cuttack seat appeared to have brightened for Arindam. However, the one-family-one-ticket formula came in the way. Arindam entered the BJP fold when alliance talks between BJD and the saffron party were still on. Some felt he did so with a hope that he would become the saffron party nominee for Barabati-Cuttack seat whether there is BJD-BJP alliance or not. One-family-one-ticket formula of the Naveen Patnaik-led party would have prevented Arindam from getting the BJD ticket had he continued in the ruling party as Bobby would certainly be contesting the polls.

The exit of Arindam, a general secretary of BJD and also the brother-in-law of influential leader Pranab Prakash Das, has further fuelled discussions in political circles here that perhaps all’s not well in the Conch party. Many leaders fear that they may have to encounter same fate in the ruling party because of the one-ticket principle.

In Balangir, A U Singhdeo’s two sons Kalikesh and Arkesh are aspiring for BJD tickets for the upcoming elections. Kalikesh was elected from Balangir Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 and 2014. However, he was defeated by Sangita Singhdeo in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Balangir.

Similarly, Arkesh Narayan Singhdeo is stated to be aspiring for BJD ticket for Balangir Assembly seat. He was defeated by veteran Congress leader Narasingha Mishra in Balangir Assembly constituency in 2019. However, as per the ticket distribution norms, one of the two brothers will be able to get BJD nomination.

Another prominent face from western Odisha is former Minister Prasannaa Acharya. His nephew Debesh Acharya is an MLA from Bargarh constituency in the outgoing Assembly. Prasanna was defeated by BJP’s Suresh Pujari in Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency in 2019 elections. While Prasanna is recovering from critical injuries sustained in a road accident, his nephew seems to be getting ready for re-election. However, one of them may be deprived of BJD ticket if the rule is strictly followed.

Similar is the situation in Balasore as Rabindra Kumar Jena is keen to contest from the Lok Sabha constituency again as BJD candidate. In 2019, Pratap Sarangi of BJP had defeated Rabindra in Balasore Parliamentary constituency. Pratap had polled 41.79 per cent votes to beat Rabindra. While Pratap had bagged over 4.83 lakh votes, Rabindra had got 4.70 lakh votes in the last polls.

While Rabindra is keen to get BJD ticket for Lok Sabha election from Balasore this time too, his wife Subasini is aspiring for nomination for Balasore Assembly seat.

Similarly, former MP Prasanna Patsani is said to be an aspirant for a ticket for Chilika Assembly seat. However, his son-in-law Priyadarshi Mishra, a former MLA, is also a ticket aspirant. Priyadarshi has won the Assembly election from Bhubaneswar North in 2014. If the one-ticket norm is followed, one of them will be denied BJD ticket.

In Nabarangpur, a similar situation is likely to crop up. While Manohar Randhari was elected from Dabugaon Assembly constituency as BJD nominee, sister Padmini Dian had emerged victorious from Kotpad on ruling party ticket in 2019 elections. However, only one of them will be able to get BJD ticket this time if the rule is followed strictly.

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