Unhappy BJD leaders pose headache for party

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Biju Janata Dal, Assembly seat, Pratyusha Singh, parliamentary constituency, Lok sabha election, assembly election, odisha, Lok Sabha, Nayagarh Assembly constituency,

Managing disgruntled leaders appears to be a big headache for Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as several leaders have quit the party while others have expressed their displeasure after being denied party ticket.

The BJD has so far declared candidates in nine Lok Sabha and 54 Assembly seats.

Outgoing BJD MP from Kandhamal, Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh, on Tuesday threatened to quit the party after she was denied renomination. BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik named Achyut Samant as the candidate from Kandhamal.

Pratyusha Singh now wants to contest from Nayagarh Assembly constituency.

“My aim is to work for the people of Nayagarh. I have told the party, President… If I don’t get a chance to contest from Nayagarh, I may think of joining another party or contesting as an Independent,” said Pratyusha Singh, a member of the erstwhile Nayagarh royal family.

Kalahandi MP Arka Keshari Deo has also raised his ante against the party after he was denied ticket. Deo has been replaced by Kalahandi MLA Pushpendra Singh Deo in the Kalahandi parliamentary constituency.

“I have laboured tirelessly for the last five years for strengthening BJD. I could have been notified prior to the announcement of the candidate list. I am in shock,” he said.

Deo said he had sent a letter to the BJD President expressing his displeasure.

On the other hand, three disgruntled BJD leaders on Tuesday resigned from the party.

Former Paralakhemundi MLA K. Narayan Rao, Kusum Tete from Sundargarh and Kalahandi General Secretary Pramod Patnaik quit after being denied ticket.

Earlier, Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi and Nilgiri MLA Sukanta Nayak had resigned from the primary membership of the party.

Elections will be held for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in four phases in Odisha beginning April 11.