Seat sharing: BJD cadres for renegotiation with BJP

Staff Reporter

BJD eyeing Parlakhemundi, Gunupur seats

Party observers take stock of situation

BERHAMPUR: With an aim to strengthen its base in South Orissa, the BJD is planning to take over some Assembly seats its alliance partner, the BJP, contested during the previous elections. Two such seats are Parlakhemundi in Gajapati district and Gunupur in Rayagada district.

The local BJD units had already urged party observers to ensure that these seats were allotted to the BJD. They were of the view that Congress candidates could win these seats during the previous Assembly election as the BJP was almost nonexistent in these areas.

BJD cadres of Gajapati district told party observers – G.B. Nayak and P. Singh Deo – that the BJP candidate polled just 8,000 votes in Parlakhemundi. In contrast, a BJD rebel Naryaan Rao, who contested as an independent candidate from Parlakhemundi, lost to the Congress candidate by a small margin of 5,000 votes, they said.

After delimitation, Gajapati district would have two Assembly constituencies – Mohana and Parlakhemundi. If the alliance with the BJP continued, Mohana, comprising a major portion of Ramgiri constituency, would be handed over to the BJP as it had a sitting MLA.

So, the observers felt that there was ample scope for the BJD to get the Parlakhemundi seat. In a similar move, leaders of adjoining Rayagada district also demanded that Gunupur seat be contested by the BJD. Party observers – N. Swain and G. Ray – who visited Rayagada district promised to enlighten the high command about the mood of the cadres. The BJD cadres are busy evolving strategies for panchayat elections.

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