Odisha: Sanjay Das Burma Back In BJD Favour, Get Organisation Task; Pratap Jena Made Kendrapada Observer
Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced appointment of two senior leaders of the party as district observers for Kendrapada and Bhadrak.
While Pratap Jena has been appointed as observer for Kendrapada , Sanjay Kumar Das Burma has replaced him as observer for Bhadrak.
In March this year, Naveen had formed his brigade of district observers, keeping an eye on the 2024 elections, and Jena was assigned Bhadrak district. Pramilla Mallik was then appointed as observer for Kendrapada. The post fell vacant after her election as Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly in September as she could no longer do party work.
Sources said that Jena has been given Kendrapada ostensibly because it is close to his constituency Mahanga and he is reportedly not keeping too well.
It is worth mentioning here that former law and panchayati raj minister Jena was dropped from Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet last year as the opposition gunned for his head over the murder of septuagenarian BJP leader Kulamani Baral, the former chairman of the Mahanga Panchayat Samiti.
Sanjay Das Burma, who was appointed as deputy chairperson of the state planning board (a cabinet rank position) after he lost in the 2019 assembly election, also faced the axe the same month in 2022. It was then believed that he might get an organisational post.
In November 2022, Das Burma, however, ruffled feathers within the BJD by hinting at an alleged conspiracy to sideline him in the party. “A conspiracy against me started from Bhubaneswar. We have to give them a befitting reply,” the former deputy chairman of the state planning board said while addressing a party gathering in Brahmagiri area of Puri district.
Das Burma was once perceived to be a close confidante of the chief minister and was involved in decision-making in the party. But things reportedly changed after Jajpur MLA Pranab Prakash Das was appointed as party’s organisational secretary in March 2020.