Bhubaneswar: Hardly three days to the induction of former Odisha MLA Ashok Panigrahi into the BJP, Bargarh district unit has opposed the to-be member’s possible candidature as party’s Bijepur by-poll nominee.
Senior leaders from Bargarh district have opposed to the idea of fielding Panigrahi as party’s candidate for the yet to be announced poll.
“We welcome Ashok Panigrahi to the party. But, we won’t accept his nomination as party’s candidate for the upcoming by-poll. In the last assembly election, he had contested against our party candidate. Party workers are unable to accept him as the leader,” Narayan Sahu, BJD District President said.
As per sources, the district unit has sent a memorandum to the state unit president Basant Panda urging him not to field him as the candidate. The members have reportedly expressed their displeasure over Panigrahi’s candidature as the contestant.
Panigrahi, however, sought to downplay the speculation of him being pitted against Rita Sahu from the Bijepur assembly segment.
“It is a mishran parva. I am going to join BJP, not going to file nomination papers. The leaders had long been asking me to join the party. It’s the largest national party and a cadre based party. There is no question of indiscipline withing the party,” Ashok Panigrahi expressed.
“There is no question of discontentment withing the party. We are set to welcome a new member. He is a strong leader from the area. Whosoever will be the candidate, the party will support him and work towards ensuring his victory,” said Prithviraj Harichandan, senior BJP leader.
On the other hand, the ruling BJD made light of Panigrahi’s possible nomination.
“He was a former member of our party. He is a good organiser. We don’t think anyone can defeat our candidate,” BJD spokesperson Surjya Narayan Patro claimed.
Worth mentioning, the beleaguered leader had yesterday announced that he would joing the saffron party on October 2 as we had reported here.