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Odisha: Upset over negative comments by locals, BJD workers assault Zee Media journalist, one arrested

Probably, fearing that the negative remarks could affect Sethi's chances of retaining the BJD ticket in the Kakatpur (SC) constituency, the BJD workers allegedly attacked the reporter

A Zee Odisha journalist was allegedly attacked in Odisha’s Kaktapur by supporters of BJD’s local MLA Surendra Sethi after a number of people he interviewed made negative remarks about the MLA.

An FIR has been filed against the assaulters at Astaranga police station and one person has been arrested in connection so far.

Zee Media reporter Chandan Paikaray was allegedly attacked by BJD worker’s when he was interviewing locals in the coastal village of Astaranga in Odisha’s Puri District regarding the Election Express programme.

During the interview, a number of locals said negative things about the MLA. Riled by these negative comments the supporters started blaming the media person for not conducting the interview properly.

Fearing that the negative remarks could affect Sethi’s chances of retaining the BJD ticket in the Kakatpur (SC) constituency, the BJD workers allegedly attacked the reporter. Chandan Paikaray alleged that he was assaulted with bricks and one of the BJD workers also tried to strangulate him.

The reins of Odisha which has been lying in the hands of the Biju Janata Dal for over 19 years, seems to be slipping out as BJP continues to surge in the state. The insecurities creeping in into the party ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls is intensifying as several veteran leaders have been reported jumping ships and joining the BJP.

The Naveen Patnaik’s much-hyped Cabinet reshuffle, an endeavour to counter the BJP’s surge, went against the party, as the reshuffle had reared serious resentment in the rank and file of the BJD over non-representation of several districts in the ministry.

Two senior leaders had quit the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Veteran BJD leader Jayaram Pangi, who was suspended from the party last month, joined the BJP along with hundreds of supporters. Amar Nayak, another strong grassroots leader, belonging to Barchanana Assembly constituency, had also joined the BJP.

Moreover, BJP’s electoral prospect in Odisha got a further boost after BJD’s suspended leader Baijayant Jai Panda had officially joined the party.

Incidentally, after the Panchayat elections, there has been a huge influx of workers and leaders from the BJD into the BJP which left Patnaik in a complete tizzy. Speculations have been rife that a number of senior leaders of BJD are waiting to join the BJP in the run-up to the 2019 elections.

In the last Panchayat elections, the BJP succeeded in making a giant stride in Odisha politics, leaving Naveen Patnaik’s BJD in a tailspin. If things continue the same way, Patnaik will probably be staring at a strong anti-incumbency now.

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