Resentment against Paradip MLA ahead of assembly election

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 05, 2024 IST

Bhubaneswar, March 5: A rift within the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has surfaced, targeting Paradip MLA Sambit Routray, son of former minister and senior leader Damodar Rout.

In a gathering of BJD workers held in Kujang, local leaders voiced their discontentment against MLA Sambit Routray. Basant Kumar Biswal, the chairman of Paradip municipality, accused Routray of neglecting the needs of the constituency.

Further fueling the dissent, Smrutiranjan Behera, former chairman of Kujang block, alleged that Routray had disregarded the interests of party workers and failed to execute developmental projects in Paradip. Behera suggested that such lapses have weakened the BJD's support at the grassroots level.

Several other BJD leaders joined the chorus, advocating for a change in the party's candidate for the upcoming elections. They urged the party leadership to replace Routray or risk losing the seat.

In a bold move, these dissenting BJD leaders even threatened to opt for the NOTA (None of the Above) option during the election if Routray is endorsed by the party again.

The meeting drew the participation of hundreds of BJD workers, along with representatives from 20 sarpanchs, panchayat samiti, and zilla parishad members.

However, Narendra Parida, president of BJD’s Kujang unit, condemned the dissident leaders' gathering as 'anti-party.' He clarified that the meeting was unauthorized and conducted without the party's consent, as local BJD office-bearers did not attend.

The final decision regarding Routray's effectiveness rests with BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Responding to the rebellion, Sambit Routray downplayed the significance of the dissident BJD leaders' assembly, emphasizing that any party workers' meeting conducted without the presence of local leaders lacks credibility. He reiterated that the decision regarding party tickets ultimately lies with CM Naveen.

During a public gathering in Kujang on February 27, veteran BJD leader Damodar Rout had appealed to locals to support his son in the upcoming polls.

The political environment in Paradip remains tense, with conflicting voices within the BJD advocating for change and accountability.


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