Parivar Vs Party: Arindam Roy Episode Poses More Questions For BJD Than Answers

Bhubaneswar: Amid growing suspense over the possible alliance between the BJD and the BJP, the latter’s decision to poach actor Arindam Roy from the regional outfit has brought to the fore the underlying tension gripping the two parties.

The resignation of Arindam, a general secretary of BJD and also the brother-in-law of the party organisation secretary Pranab Prakash Das aka Bobby, has further fuelled discussions in political circles here that perhaps all’s not well in the Conch party.

Did Arindam quit BJD on being denied ticket for the upcoming twin elections? Was it due to family discord triggered by political ambitions? Or is it a sign of a perceived power struggle within the regional party?

Such questions are being posed even as social media posts by certain party leaders eulogising Pranab for his ‘sacrifice’ in the Arindam issue have added to the belief that the matter has left a bitter taste in the ruling party’s mouth.

BJD MP Sasmit Patra. in a post, has said Pranab sacrificed the interests of his family for the party by letting his brother-in-law Arindam resign. “Bobby has set an ideological trend of ‘one family, one ticket’ for the party. Had he wanted, Bobby as organisational secretary of BJD could have given the ticket to Arindam. But he preferred the party’s ideology to family interest,” said Patra in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Speaking in similar vein, BJD legislator Souvic Biswal said Bobby’s decision has reaffirmed that he follows the path set by party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in letter and spirit. “He (Bobby) knows that his action will set an example for other leaders in the party. It will not only boost the image of party president but also win the hearts of lakhs of voters in the state,” Biswal posted on the social media.

However, 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 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.

Arindam is believed to have entered the BJP fold with a hope that he would become the saffron party nominee for Barabati-Cuttack seat whether there is BJD-BJP alliance or not. This has fanned speculation that he might have quit the BJD as part of a strategy, which could lead to BJP bagging the said seat in case of a coalition. Even if there is no alliance, one-family-one-ticket norm of BJD would have prevented Arindam from getting the BJD ticket had he continued in the ruling party as Bobby would certainly be contesting the polls.

Arindam targeting Naveen as well as the BJD after joining the BJP made it further dramatic, with the party insiders saying that had he left the regional party simply to contest on BJP ticket then he would have refrained from attacking him.

Clearly it has put Bobby on a sticky wicket as it has exposed the goings on in his family. Which in a way explains why several leaders have suddenly resorted to eulogising Bobby by portraying him as a hero although it also betrays a whiff of the veiled power struggle within the ruling party. Bobby, considered one of the few leaders having a say over distribution of BJD tickets, might as well be making a bid to send out a message to ticket aspirants in the party. Whether it would quell dissension or make it more intense is a matter that would be watched by many, including possibly the BJP with keen interest.

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