Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following completion of Dhamnagar and Padampur bypolls, political focus of ruling BJD and Opposition BJP in Odisha seem to have shifted to Delhi. Both the parties are now trying to attract the attention of the voters by involving in a mad rush to meet Union ministers in the national capital to put up different demands regarding the welfare of the State.

However, Congress and political analysts in the State have put a question mark over the true intention of both the parties.

While BJD leaders are regularly meeting Union Ministers of different portfolios, the BJP is not too far behind.

A BJD delegation recently met Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw demanding to run a passenger train from Kendrapara. Another delegation of BJD MPs met Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal urging him to provide the pending subsidy amount on paddy collection.

Moreover, the Odisha ruling party leaders also called on Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda and submitted a memorandum seeking Scheduled Tribe tag for 160 tribal groups in Odisha. A delegation of BJD MPs also met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding the waiver of GST on Kendu leaves. The delegation also met Union Minister General VK Singh to accelerate the National Highway project work in Odisha.

The BJP was not too far behind in the race as a delegation of the Saffron party MPs met Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to complain about the intention of the Odisha government which does not want to implement Ayushman Bharat scheme in Odisha. The delegation also called on Goyal and discussed about the problems of the farmers in Odisha. They also alleged about the corruption in paddy procurement and mandi mismanagement in the State.

Similarly Bhubaneswar MP and senior BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi called on various Union ministers and put up various demands before them.

“We don’t see Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to be proactive enough for the development of Odisha. Hence, BJP leaders are meeting Union ministers at regular intervals to discuss about various issues related to the development work of the State. We have nothing to do with BJD’s intention,” said senior BJP leader Suresh Pujari.

Meanwhile, BJD MP Mahesh Sahoo said that they are not at all competing with BJP in meeting the Union ministers.

“As per the instruction of the Chief Minister, we are meeting the Union ministers to put up various demands pertaining to the development of the State,” said Sahu.

However, Congress slammed both BJD and BJP for indulging in petty politics.

“Both the parties have no desire to deliver any project. They are indulged in petty politics which is not at all good for democracy,” said Congress MP Saptagiri Ullaka.

Meanwhile, the political analysts are of the opinion that the competition among BJP and BJD is not meant for the development of the State, rather it is a political gimmick to woo voters in their favour.