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  India   All India  17 Dec 2018  BJP loss in 3 states will impact Odisha matrix

BJP loss in 3 states will impact Odisha matrix

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Dec 17, 2018, 3:00 am IST
Updated : Dec 17, 2018, 3:25 am IST

The BJP, which is treading cautiously after the poll debacles in the five states, has kept a close watch on the Congress and BJD’s rebels.

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik during an event
 A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik during an event

Bhubaneswar: New equations are likely on the cards in Odisha politics after the declaration of the results of assembly elections in Rajashtan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

The resurgence of the Congress in the polls and the BJP’s debacle in the Hindi heartlands have fuelled speculations that the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) might go for some kind of alliance with parties ideologically closer to it while the BJP, to pre-empt possible losses in 2019 elections, may explore other possibilities.

The BJP, currently the main Opposition in the state, is exploring possibilities of tie-up with forces opposed to the BJD and Congress to maintain its momentum it has acquired in the state in recent months.

Soon after the election results for five states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telengana and Mizoram — were out on Tuesday evening, the Odisha CM and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, in an unusual hastiness, met the media here and declared that the “verdict shows the mood of the nation.”

“This (the verdict) shows the mood of the nation,” Mr Patnaik said, adding, “All these states who have gone for election are agrarian states.”

He said that the BJP government at the Centre has done "very little" for peasants as regards MSP and implementation of M.S. Swaminathan Committee recommendations.

The CM even congratulated the Congress. The Congress was poised Wednesday to form governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Analysts, while studying Mr Patnaik’s statement, said that the BJD, which has been facing tough fight from the BJP in recent times, is trying to get closer to the Congress as the latter is now on a resurgence mode.

“At present, the BJP which got nearly 33 per cent votes in the 2017 rural polls is the principal adversary of the BJD, not the Congress that has been steadily going down since 2000 when it was voted out of power. Since the BJD and Congress share identical ideology and claim themselves as secular forces, they might enter into a pre-poll understanding to thwart the chances of BJP to come to power,” says noted political commentator Prasanna Kumar Mohanty.

The BJP, which is treading cautiously after the poll debacles in the five states, has kept a close watch on the Congress and BJD’s rebels. The saffron party state unit which currently guided by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, has already drafted over a dozen of potential leaders of the rival parties into his own party.

The party is also closely monitoring the movement of two of its top leaders — Bijoy Mohapatra and Dilip Ray — who recently quit the party. The two turncoats, sources said, are looking for some kind of seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress. If no pre-poll arrangements take place, the two might float their own platform, the sources added.

The Congress, which appeared firm and steady after veteran leader Niranjan Patnaik was installed in the hot-seat at the Pradesh Congress Committee as its president earlier this year, has once against found itself trapped in the quagmire of intra-party bickering. Party’s senior leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena has almost raised banner of revolt by demanding that man of dalit or backward class be projected the party’s chief ministerial candidate. Such a demand has once again divided the party leaders into two blocs.

The PCC disciplinary committee, after reportedly construing Srikant Jena’s “unreasonable demand” as act of indiscipline, has recommended the All India Congress Committee (AICC) to take action against him. In the event the AICC takes strong action against Mr Srikant, he is most likely to create much trouble for the party.

The Left parties, like CPI and CPM, are yet to make their stand clear, but they have been very critical of the ruling BJD, especially due to farmers’ distress and rising unemployment scenario.

“Considering the recent tone and texture of the leaders of the Left parties, it appears that they are more inclined towards the Congress than the BJD. It may so happen that the Left parties might enter into a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress,” says political commentator Prabhukalyan Mohapatra.

Smaller parties like Utkal Bharat, Biju Samanta Kranti Dal and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha are yet to open their cards for the 2019 polls.

Tags: naveen patnaik, narendra modi