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Bhubaneswar: With the Odisha government nominating 13 political leaders as members of the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) on a rotational basis for a period of two years, there is a hint of dissidence and intra-party feud in the ruling Biju Janata Dal over the nomination of the new members.
According to a notification by the Planning and Convergence department on Monday, two MPs and 11 MLAs have been nominated to the Council.
Among the 13 members, there are two BJD MPs—Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo of Balangir and Pratyusha Rajeshwari of Kandhamal— while of the remaining 11 MLAs, two members each are from the BJP and the Congress while the nine members are from the BJD.
The two Congress MLAs are Naba Kishore Das and Jogesh Kumar Singh while Basant Panda and Nitish Gangadeb are the BJP members. The seven BJD MLAs are Pushpendra Singhdeo, Padmanav Behera, Sanjib Sahu, Ramesh Patua, Rita Sahu, Tukuni Sahu and Mahidhar Rana.
On the other hand, the name of Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan, Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi and senior party leader of Kalahandi, Balabhadra Majhi has not been considered.
Reliable sources in the BJD said that an influential pressure group in the BJD has lobbied for non-inclusion of these leaders as members of the Council.