Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 20:
Former Finance minister and senior leader of the Biju Janata Dal Prafulla Ghadai has expressed his unhappiness over the manner in which he and his son were treated by the party during the last general elections.
Talking to the leading Odia daily Sambad on Saturday, the veteran leader said he had reasons to feel slighted when he was denied the party ticket for Sukinda, a constituency he has represented five times in a row since 1990, for reasons best known to the BJD bosses.
He said, the party was also unfair to his MLA son Pritiranjan Ghadai who was asked to contest the Sukinda seat in place of his old seat Korei, which was nurtured by him in the last 5 years and where he had succeeded in building a strong party organisation.
The former Finance minister, however, exuded confidence that his son would emerge victorious despite the ‘use of money and muscle power’ by the rebel BJD candidate there.
Many believe that the old warhorse lost the confidence of BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik after the alleged coup attempt by Pyarimohan Mohapatra in May 2012. He was kept out of the cabinet and not consulted on important government and party matters. However, he chose not to revolt against the leadership.
Although he does not say so in as many words, the veteran leader of the anti-Congress platform in Odisha, has reasons to feel humiliated over the sudden rise of Kalpataru Das in Jajpur politics at his expense.
Das, who has had a meteoric rise in the BJD politics over the last two years- thanks to the blessings of Naveen Patnaik- has been trying hard to ‘usurp’ the position Ghadai has been enjoying in Jajpur’s politics for the last 30 years.
But while trying to do that, Das has stirred up a hornet’s nest and in the process triggered bitter infighting within the party rank and file in Jajpur district, considered to have been a citadel of the BJD all these years, say his critics.
Observers feel, the mishandling of the power equations within the BJD unit in Jajpur district may cost the ruling party dear in all seven assembly constituencies here following widespread resentment over ticket distribution.