Great Political Circus in Baripada

By Janaki Ballav Dash: Current Political scenario of Baripada seems completely messed up. While Sudam Marandi, former MP of the constituency, who hails from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has been entangled with a chain of criminal cases, the ruling MP Laxman Tudu from BJD is also not out of controversy.

On the other hand, Pyari Mohapatra’s OJM wants to take advantage of the situation by joining hands with JMM, but it is hard to believe that Mahapatra, who had slammed the party earlier to gain strong hold for BJD in Baripada, now intends to take a U-turn.

Reopening of the cases against JMM former MP Sudam Marandi in the bus stand episode have warmed up the political climate of Baripada even in this chilly winter. Though the arrested MP got bail after spending two days in custody, two fresh cases have been slapped against him.

Things became more complex when he said that the “anti-tribal” Chief Minister’s (Naveen Patnaik) foes are his friends, which clearly indicates towards his intention to join hands with OJM to save the routed JMM which drew a blank during last elections. The suspicion becomes more plausible as Pyari had earlier indicated for a third OJM ‘Samabesha’ to be held in Baripada after successfully conducting the previous two in Bhubaneswar and Bhawanipatna.

But it is peculiar to notice that the same Pyari Babu, who had engineered a robust ‘JMM hatao campaign’ during the last assembly and parliament elections in Baripada, is now on his way to join hands with the party, though no word of confirmation has come up from his camp yet.

Now coming to the controversies surrounding existing BJD MP Laxman Tudu, the false certificate case has earned much attention. Former MP Kharvel Swain had alleged that – through RTI, it was found that Tudu had handed over his educational certificates to one Salai Murmu of his village who knowingly mis-represented himself as Laxman Tudu, to grab a job in CRPF and his salary was shared between the two. Swain had demanded the Chief Minister to expel Tudu from BJD for this act as Tudu had knowingly provided the certificate as per the allegation.

Tudu is also alleged to have taken share to provide work orders from MPLAD and the allegations have been brought by none other than Ramachandra Hansdah, the MLA of Saraskona, who hails from his own party BJD.

In these circumstances, general citizens of the district and constituency are confused about who is to be believed and who is not to be. But one thing is certain that all these developments have warmed the political atmosphere of Baripada and for which it will be a tough task for any of the aspirants to convince the voters during the coming polls.

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