Chhatrapur: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) seems to be ridden with factionalism in this area of Ganjam district. Leaders like block chairperson (wife of former ZP member Munna Das) and vice-chairperson (wife of former ZP member S Kishore Reddy) are not being invited to various programmes of the party. This has left both the leaders and their supporters disgruntled.
Sources said that the rift among the BJD leaders dates back to the election to the block chairperson’s post in April this year. Despite the BJD changing its district observer to stop faction oriented rifts, it has not worked.
Now top leaders of the party are talking to various warring groups to iron out the differences. It should be stated here that high drama had unfolded during the Chhatrapur block chairman election in April when two separate rival groups of BJD workers got into an ugly fight with each other. The supporters of Chhatrapur’s sitting MLA Subas Behera and former MLA Priyanshu Pradhan were at loggerheads. Twelve samiti members were allegedly locked up by the police in a hotel at Barakul in Balugaon ahead of the election. The internal feud within the ruling party became public after a video of the samiti members crying for help from the balcony of the hotel went viral.
Eventually, they were released. With their support, Kiran Kumari Das, who belongs to Behera’s rival camp, got elected as the chairman. Since then internal squabbling within the BJD has been continuing. Sources said Behera doesn’t get on well with the groups of the block chairperson and the vice-chairperson. Many people alleged that due to various rival camps within the BJD, implementation of various development programmes like MGNREGS have not happened in a proper manner in Chhatrapur.