Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 13:
BJP in Odisha today issued notification for election of its state unit president.
As per the schedule issued by the party, filing of nominations would be held between 9.30 AM to 10.30 AM tomorrow and the candidates would be allowed to withdraw their nominations between 11 AM to 1 PM, the same day. The polls, however, would be conducted on Friday (January 15), if there is more than one contestant in fray.
In an earlier notification issued yesterday, the party had said that it intends to wrap up the polls on Thursday itself.
Senior party leaders, so far, have been holding talks with various concerned leaders and trying to unanimously select its president than elect him. The meetings dragged on till late this evening. The final word regarding consensus, however, was not made.
Interestingly, the core committee meet is yet to happen and many key figures of that committee are not in town. While Jual Oram is in Australia, Bijoy Mohapatra is in Delhi. The whereabouts of Dillip Ray and many others are also not known. The party’s Odisha in-charge Arun singh, however said that core committee members have been consulted.
Senior party leader Manmohan Samal, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan and Arun Singh all stressed that there were no issues and everything would be sorted out today itself and only one candidate would file the nomination.
On the other hand, necessary preparations for the polls are also underway. Senior BJP leader and national general secretary Saroj Pandey, who has been appointed as the central observer, reached Bhubaneswar today.
If party insiders are to be believed, while the nomination of Basant Panda is almost certain for the presidential post, the dissenting faction is also vocal.
“I had a meeting with the national president about two years back. That was the last time I had been asked about the president position. Nobody spoke to me about it this time around,” said senior BJP leader and incumbent vice president Pratap Sarangi, who was in the race for the president position.