Bhubaneswar: With the murder of Senior BJD leader and Cabinet Minister Naba Kishore Das, the Governing Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is searching for a tall leader to fill up the vacuum created in Western Odisha.
The BJD is always facing a tough fight against Opposition BJP and Congress in the western region as all three political parties have a strong base in different districts and pockets in the area.
To deal with it, the Governing BJD has brought many senior Congress leaders including Naba Das and Bhupinder Singh into its fold. Besides, the party has also picked up veteran bureaucrats like Asit Tripathy and Nalini Kanta Pradhan to further strengthen its base in the western Odisha.
Among all, late Minister Naba Das was a great asset for the party. He was not only a good organiser but also supported the party in raising funds as he was very actively involved with trade industry and business in the western region of the State.
He was having a strong organisation in many of the western districts like Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur and Sundargarh . So, it is clear that the BJD has suffered a heavy loss with the death of Das.
The Odisha Assembly Secretariat has already notified the vacancy of Jharsuguda Assembly seat.
“The Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly regrets to announce the sad demise of Naba Kishore Das, sitting member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly elected from 07-Jharsuguda Assembly constituency of Jharsuguda district. He breathed his last on Sunday, January 29, 2023 at Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar. Due to his death a vacancy has occurred in the House,” read the notification.
The Assembly secretariat has also officially informed the Election Commission of India and Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha about the sad demise of Das and the vacancy created in the House.
According to sources, the Governing Party is very likely to pick up Naba Das’s daughter Dipali for the by-poll as it was a wish of the deceased Minister to bring his daughter in electoral politics.
As about 1.5 years left for completion of terms of sitting MLA, bye-election is most likely to be held in near future, sources said.
According to local political pundits, daughter Dipali may fill up the vacancy in the Assembly and Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari has taken charge of Health & Family Welfare portfolio in the Cabinet.
However, the vacuum created within the party will not be filled with these moves. So, the ruling party would definitely bring another tall leader of western Odisha to fill its vacancy in the organisation.
“There are three or four senior BJD leaders in the western Odisha, who are, we can say, under-utilised now.
The leaders are Kalikesh Singhdeo and Nalini Kant Pradhan. Besides, the party can also bring active leaders like Asit Tripathy, Susanta Singh and Prasanna Acharya,” said a political expert.
Kalikesh Singhdeo is a young dynamic political personality and belongs to a major political family having wide influence in Western Odisha.
And Prasanna Acharya and Susanta Singh are also good organisers and ensured the party’s victory in all by-polls held recently in Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency.
As the party nowadays is giving much importance to bureaucrat turned politicians, so, leaders like Tripathy and Pradhan may also be picked up by the BJD boss in place of Das, the expert said.
However, the Governing party will definitely look into the criteria like loyalty to the party and leadership, organising quality, public relations, money power and acceptability within the party, he added.