Nayagarh: Panchayat elections are round the corner in Odisha. Major political parties like the BJD, BJP and Congress have started preparations to broaden their bases in Nayagarh district. However, the issue of factionalism is rampant in all the three parties and is a cause of concern for the leaders, a report said. The proposed reservation of seats and some local issues have left grassroots cadres fuming in some pockets.
Factionalism exist the most both in the BJP and the Congress, but then the BJD also has different groups working within it. It remains to be seen how the political adversaries take advantage of the factionalism which exists among its rivals.
Frontline leaders of the three parties are drawing up strategies to select candidates in the backdrop of proposed reservation of seats for sarpanch, zilla parishad and wards. Some of the aspiring candidates have already started lobbying with their respective MLAs to cement their positions.
All the three parties have been organising meetings and inducting disgruntled leaders and workers from the other parties. All are busy giving impression to people that their vote shares have been increasing with the induction of workers who were in the opposition even a short time back.
Political parleys and hectic activities by the ruling party BJD are seen in Nayagarh, Dasapalla and Ranpur localities. Frontline leaders are trying to placate grassroots workers who have difference of opinion on candidates lobbying for various posts in the BJD. Ruling party leaders have been claiming that their base of supporters has been increasing and that the party is confident of winning.
On the other hand, Congress leaders have started highlighting the alleged cases of corruption and under-development against the BJD and the BJP’s central policies, spiraling prices of commodities and the contentious Farm Laws.
BJD and Congress leaders are claiming before the electorate that the BJP is going to finish third in the upcoming panchayat elections.
It is also said that support for Congress is growing faster than the BJP. Congress is hopeful of wining in some pockets of Nayagarh district.
Ranjit Das, president of the district Congress unit, said that voters are being sensitised against the ruling party. “Voters have realised their mistake of voting for the BJD. The panchayat elections will go in favour of the Congress,” he said.
However, Lala Manoj Ray, president of the BJP’s district unit, dismissed such claims of the BJD and Congress. He said that voters have lost their faith on BJD and a wind of change is sweeping across the district in favour of the BJP. Voters will give a shock to the BJD this time, he asserted.
A front line BJD leader in the district on the condition of anonymity asserted that the BJP and Congress have failed to match with the linear progress of the party in the district.
Political observers say that the results of these panchayat elections will go a long way in influencing the next general elections in Odisha.