Odisha to see triangular fight: BJD declares to cross sword with BJP

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 23, 2024 IST

Bhubaneswar, March 23: The upcoming general and assembly elections in Odisha, scheduled to be held in four phases, are going to be acid tests for the three parties-Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress.

The three major political parties are going to face the democratic battle with an unprecedented and frantic manner. Thus, the state is going to witness a triangular fight this time in the upcoming simultaneous general and assembly elections.

BJD which has been governing the state since last 24 years and enjoying an axial power with Naveen Patnaik as the Chief Minister is still the front runner in the electoral politics. BJP, the primary opposition, is one of the fierce competitors. On the other hand, the grand old party Congress has failed to come at par with the BJP and the BJD. 

The saffron party on Friday cleared the air and declared to contest the elections all alone. It will field candidates in all the 147 assembly constituencies and 21 Lok Sabha segments across the state. BJP’s Odisha chief Manmohan Samal's declaration has made it clear that there is no possibility of BJD-BJP alliance.

Within just a few hours to the BJP’s announcement, the Naveen Patnaik led BJD also declared to go solo. Organisational Secretary of BJD Pranab Prakash Das, on his X handle announced that the party, with abundant support from the people of Odisha showered to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, will get a thumping victory. Das also asserted that, the transformation across the state, achieved under the 5T initiatives, will lead the ruling party to achieve a three fourth majority.

The BJP, on the other hand has tentatively readied its prospective candidates both for the assembly and Lok Sabha segments. After a number of meetings held at the BJP national headquarters in Delhi, the Central Election Co-ordination Committee, has finalized the names of some leaders to field for the significant seats. Apart from it, the senior leaders who are in-charge of Odisha BJP are likely thinking to field some BJD turncoats. 

Bhartuhari Mahtab who was a six-time BJD MP from Cuttack LS, has quit the party. Former MP of Kendrapara, Archana Nayak who was reportedly cornered from the BJD since 2007, joined BJP. Pradip Panigrahi, a former Minister of the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet who was shown the door by the BJD almost one year ago, has joined his hands with the BJP. Meanwhile, Arabinda Dhali, after a long tenure with the BJD government has returned to BJP. 

Among other new comers to BJP, former minister Sanjiv Sahu is likely to contest this election.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) in co-ordination with the All India Congress Committee (AICC), is also working on a new game plan to fight the poll with well & good groundwork and consistency. The party has entrusted Dr Ajay Kumar, an IPS-turned poll strategist, to empower Odisha Congress. Kumar, since his association with the Odisha Congress, is letting no stone unturned to raise state issues against the ruling BJD and BJP which has hold the federal government at the Centre. Pertinent issues including BJD-BJP tacit alliance, embezzlement of govt funds have been raised by the Congress workers in very satirical ways, to specify the party’s dominance still in the state. For the first time in Odisha, the PCC has developed an online registration portal to enrol potential personalities as a source of candidates for the coming election.  This mechanism has done away with the traditional lobby practises, to have party tickets as MLA or MP candidates. In a first of kind the Odisha Congress has freed itself from all the prejudice and partiality regarding finalizing suitable and befitting candidates.This time the party is going to finalize party tickets, from the prospective candidates, registered in the AIICC’s online portal.

Apart from it, the Odisha Congress has redefined its PCC office bearers configurations so as to befriend the former leaders, who were reportedly distanced themselves from the Congress organisation alleging nepotism and inner disputes among the top leadership. PCC President Sarat Pattnayak is taking utmost care to accumulate all leaders under the banner of Congress. Bijay Patnaik, IAS-turned politicians who was serving as Congress Campaign Committee Chairman, has been assigned as Campaign Co-ordination Committee Chairman. Similarly, a grass-root level tribal leader from Western Odisha and a former MP, Bhakta Charan Das has been entrusted as Chairman of PCC Campaign Committee. All the leaders and office bearers from the top to bottom are scouting with novice strategies, to draw more margins out of the BJP and BJP’s frontier war. According to some of the lead spokespersons of Congress, the party will focus the issues relating the BJD-BJP ally, which bore no fruit after several rounds of bi-lateral discussion, to garner public faith and voters’ empathy, to see the party’s position in Odisha election, in a newer deck.         


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