The Telegraph
Saturday , May 20 , 2017

Race on to grab JMM space

Bhubaneswar, May 19: After its poor show in the last panchayat elections in tribal dominated Mayurbhanj, the BJD has joined the BJP's race to appropriate political space of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in the district.

An aggressive BJD today roped in JMM leader Debasis Marandi, who had fought the last general election against BJD MP Ram Chandra Hansdah. The MP is now in jail for his alleged involvement in the Ponzi scam. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik. We are fighting for the cause of the tribals and as long as we do that, the party's base will remain intactDraupadi Murmu, who hails from the district, Jharkhand governor, the party has been able to win over the tribals to a big extent.

BJP's chief ministerial face Dharmendra Pradhan, too, has been making frequent visits to the district. The efforts yielded dividends with the BJP winning 51 of the 56 zila parishad seats. To maintain its focus on the district, the party also held its two-day state level executive meeting at Baripada last month.

The party had inducted Sudam in 2014 along with another JMM leader Bhadav Hansda, who now represents Saraskana in the Assembly. Sudam, who joined the BJD in 2014, was dropped as a minister and drafted for organisational work after the BJD's miserable performance in the district in the panchayat elections.

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