BJP ropes in Jayaram Pangi in Koraput as Gamangs failed
When veteran Congress leader, nine-time Lok Sabha MP, former Union Minister and Ex Chief Minister of Odisha, Giridhar Gamang joined the BJP along with his son Shishir Gamang, political pundits were skeptical about the decision, saying the Gamangs hardly have any clout in Koraput district in the present situation.
The BJP, however, put up a brave face, saying their induction would strengthen the party in the district. However, the Gamangs did not show any interest to boost the morale of the cadres in the district through organisational work. They mostly confined themselves to Bhubaneswar.
A senior BJP leader from Koraput district said on condition of anonymity that the ambitious move made by BJP at that time has completely backfired as the party did not get desired results. It forced the party to rethink on its strategy for Koraput and rope in Jayaram Pangi, who is still active at the grassroots level and enjoys the support of a significant chunk of people in the district.
Jayaram Pangi, who was denied a ticket in 2014 and suspended from the party in 2017 for anti-party activities, has definitely lost his power and grip over the years. Yet, he still remains a good bet for a desperate BJP, which wants to go all out to make its presence felt in many districts where BJD is facing internal conflicts and dissent from its cadres – whether it’s Jajpur, Kalahandi or Koraput.
According to BJP sources, the Gamangs won’t be given big responsibilities in Koraput to avoid a conflict or ego clash between Giridhar and Jayaram, who were rivals once, but have now landed in the same party, chanting NaMo NaMo and raising the saffron flag.
It’s yet another calculated risk taken by the BJP as the party is not sure how much help it would get from Jayaram Pangi’s inclusion. But they have nothing to lose. If nothing else, the move would help bring out the fissures within the ruling party out into the open and encourage others still undecided to jump fence. Any gains in the district would be significant for the BJP.