Prafulla Das

Former legislator Ramamurthy Gamang quits, he is likely to join BJD

Samruddha Odisha gaining ground

BJP leaders not ready for any decrease in their share of seats

BHUBANESWAR: With the crack in the ruling Biju Janata Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party alliance widening by the day, the saffron party is fast losing ground in different regions the State.

While two legislators – Dhaneshwar Majhi and Sananda Marandi – resigned from the BJP on Wednesday, former legislator Ramamurthy Gamang quit on Thursday giving a severe jolt to the party ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

Several other leaders of the party, including some legislators and Members of Parliament, were also likely to quit in case the alliance between the BJD and BJP breaks in the run to the polls.

Mr. Majhi represented the Kesinga Assembly constituency in western Orissa, while Sananda Marandi was elected from Kuliana seat in Mayurbhanj district.

Mr. Gamang, who was elected from Gunupur Assembly segment in southern Orissa in the 2000 polls, was defeated in the 2004 elections as a BJP nominee.

Interestingly, all the three leaders were likely to join the BJD shortly and contest the coming polls as nominees of the regional party.

Further former BJP legislator from Kendrapara Bed Prakash Agarwalla was also likely to quit the party soon to join the BJD to contest from Patkura segment, according to sources.

It is not that the BJD is the lone party which is gaining at the cost of the BJP. Another emerging regional party, Samruddha Odisha is also gaining at the same time.

A senior BJP leader and legislator from Laikera constituency in Jharsuguda district Brundaban Majhi had resigned from the party a few days ago to join Samruddha Odisha.

If sources are to be believed, many BJP leaders who had joined the party after their long association with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had also started joining Samruddha Odisha.

According to political analysts, the BJP may face further trouble if it did not agree to the BJD’s condition to contest in less number of seats than it contested in the past two Assembly polls.

While the BJD wants to contest in more number of Assembly seats, the State BJP leaders were not ready for any decrease in their share of the seats.

This stand of the BJP was delaying finalisation of the seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties thereby affecting the saffron party’s poll prospects.