Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: BJP activists joined hands with the Congress to thwart attempts of the BJD to win the post of chairperson of panchayat samity of Rangeilunda block under Gopalpur Assembly constituency in Ganjam district.

Sashibhusan Mohanty, Congress chairperson of Gopalpur Notified Area Council (NAC), became the catalyst to bring together Ganjam District Congress president and Gopalpur MLA Trinath Behera and the newly elected State BJP Yuva Morcha president Bibhuti Jena for this to happen. Mr. Jena happens to be former ZP member from Rangeilunda block.

It may be noted that the BJD and the BJP are alliance partners in the State. Their winning candidates joined hands at most places after panchyat polls though there was no alliance between the parties for the polls.

Members of panchayat samities are not elected on party symbols. As per claims of political parties, 10 BJD supporters, 10 Congress supporters and four BJP supporters were elected to the panchayat samity of Rangeilunda block. The BJD leaders were confident of getting their candidate elected as the chairperson of the panchayat samity due to State-level alliance with the BJP. But that did not happen. Mr. Behera and Mr. Jena joined hands, Apanna Sethi of the Congress managed to win the post of chairperson. Some district-level leaders of the BJP and the BJD seem to be angry with Mr. Jena's action, for it would have an adverse impact on the party's reputation.