Odisha’s Ruling BJD Stung By Factionalism In Rayagada!

Rayagada: The ruling Biju Janata Dal ( BJD) seems to have been stung by factionalism in Odisha’s Rayagada district at a time when party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is stressing the need for forging unity ahead of 2024 elections.

An intense struggle for supremacy appears to have gripped the party in Rayagada between former Rajya Sabha MP N Bhaskar Rao and district BJD president Sudhir Das.

While Das has been making attempts to isolate Rao, another senior party leader and senior advocate Raju Sahu has accused the former parliamentarian of having worked against the party during the last panchayat and urban bodies polls.

After a raging poster war that had earlier erupted in the district showing signs of growing factionalism within the ruling party, sudden departure of senior leaders, including Law Minister Jagannath Saraka from a programme, also attended by Rao, sparked fresh speculations about the ex-MP being isolated.

Apart from Saraka, the programme was attended by several senior leaders including special development council chairperson Anusuya Majhi, Rayagada MLA Makarand Muduli, Gunupur MLA Raghunath Gamang and Sudhir Das. However, the senior leaders left the venue with observers interpreting their move as an indication of the former MP being isolated in the party.

However, Rao ruled out any factionalism in the party and said that he performed the duty that was assigned to him during the elections with all sincerity and commitment. Whatever responsibility was assigned to him was discharged diligently, the ex-MP said.

Stating that there is no groupism within the party, Rao said BJD is fully united in the district.

When contacted, Anusuya Majhi dismissed speculations that the senior leaders left the programme because of Rao’s presence and stated that she there was another function to be attended.

Majhi said she had to leave as she had to attend an important meeting in Bhubaneswar.

While Raju Sahu alleged that Rao indulged in anti-party activities during the last panchayat and urban bodies elections by backing some independent candidates, political analysts said some ruling BJD leaders seem to be unable to tolerate the former MP’s popularity.

Sahu further claimed that Rao will not be given any important responsibility in the next elections. Sudhir Das and local MLAs will be entrusted with the task of managing the elections this time, he claimed.

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