Boinda: As many as 21 samiti members from Kishorenagar and Athamallik blocks in Angul district have gone into hiding as BJD and BJP are pulling out all the stops to grab the block chairperson posts, as per a report.
The ruling BJD has won six zilla parishad (ZP) zones in Kishorenagar and Athamallik blocks while the election for the chairperson posts will be held March 12.
Political temperature is soaring in these areas as some samiti members from these two blocks have gone into hiding fearing poaching by rival parties. The post of block chairperson has become a prestige issue for BJD.
Similarly, a senior leader of the BJP is also trying to wrest control of the post and is trying to enlist the support of elected samiti members.
Reports said Kishorenagar block has 23 panchayats out of which support of any 12 samiti members can help in forming the panchayat samiti. BJD is trying its best to grab the post which has been reserved for scheduled caste (SC) candidates.
In all the 23 panchayats, five elected samiti members are from SC category.
Senior leaders are contemplating on whom to appoint as the chairperson since a particular party has taken 15 elected samiti members outside the district and have housed them in a hotel.
These samiti members in hiding have been denied any access to outside and debarred from communicating with others. Three out of 23 samiti members are aspiring for the chairperson’s post but it is not yet clear as to who will be elected as the chairperson.
Similarly, the Athamallik block has 24 panchayts out of which 13 samiti members will elect the block chairperson. The chairperson post is for general category for which four samiti members including the kin of two contractors are aspiring.
However, none of the hopefuls have the required support of 13 samiti members. When contacted, Athamallik MLA Ramesh Sai said, “BJD will wrest control of both two blocks and ensure development in these two areas.”