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Rebel Candidates Pose a Major Concern for All Three Major Parties in Odisha LS/Assembly Polls

In the run-up to the simultaneous elections in Odisha for the Assembly and Lok Sabha seats, the major political parties – Biju Janata Dal, Congress, and BJP – are grappling with rebellion from leaders denied tickets. Disgruntled aspirants are either switching parties or planning to contest independently, causing unrest within party ranks.

According to senior BJD leader Padmanabh Behera, there has always been a presence of rebels in politics, but this time, the number seems to be higher. Behera expressed confidence in the party’s ability to navigate through such challenges and secure victories in the upcoming elections.

Following the announcement of candidates, several leaders resigned from the BJD, including MLA Parshuram Dhada and former Phubani MLA Debendra Kanhar. Similarly, leaders like Rama Chandra Panda and T. Gopi from Berhampur also parted ways with the party, citing grievances over ticket allocation.

The BJP is also facing resistance from overlooked aspirants, with protests erupting in various parts of the state. Ex-MLA Debaraj Mohanty resigned after being denied a ticket from Aska constituency, while Sonali Sahu expressed dissatisfaction and later rejoined Congress. The discontent among aspirants is evident as they challenge the party’s candidate choices.

The Congress, on the other hand, has been witnessing a wave of resignations even before the official candidate list was announced. Senior leaders, including sitting MLAs like Adhiraj Panigrahi and ex-minister Ganeswar Behera, have left the party to join the BJD. This exodus poses a significant challenge for the Congress in the upcoming elections.

Despite the turmoil within the political parties, the stage is set for a fiercely contested election in Odisha. The rebellion by leaders denied tickets adds a layer of complexity to the electoral landscape, as candidates and parties strive to navigate through these challenges to secure victories in the polls.


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