Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Politics has been heated up in Odisha with BJD joining the opposition ranks and protesting over NEET in Rajya Sabha following its ouster from power in the State. This apart, the party has also raised Odia ‘asmita’ (identity) issue over the appointment of a non-Odia IAS officer as the Chief Secretary of the State. 

In the last 10 years, BJD continued to extend its support to BJP in almost all matters in the Parliament. However, it has now changed its stance after its poll debacle in the 2024 General Elections. Starting from going to the Well of the Upper House and staging a protest asking for a discussion on NEET, the BJD members also joined the opposition’s walkout.

In response, the ruling BJP has rapped BJD by saying it is the party's desperate bid to find out its lost identity after failing to open its account in the Lok Sabha election. 

“BJD is going through an identity crisis after 2024 General Elections. They are trying to make their presence felt. When there is currently no BJD leader in the Lok Sabha, they are trying to give the message in the Rajya Sabha that they are in the Opposition ranks,” said BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal.

Meanwhile, BJD has made it clear that they will continue their aggressive approach against BJP as the Opposition.

“BJD will always fight for the interest of Odisha. We are not struggling for our identity. People of Odisha know our identity very much, rather BJP is looking for its identity,” said Pramila Mallik, Chief Whip of Opposition.

Odia ‘asmita’ issue

It is a well-known fact that BJP won the election in Odisha by raising the Odia ‘asmita’ issue. However, BJD is now trying to raise the same issue following the appointment of Manoj Ahuja as the new Chief Secretary of Odisha. BJD has started criticizing the saffron party over the issue through its social media posts.

“Had they kept Odia ‘asmita’ intact, we would have been proud. But, they deviated from their rhetoric from the very beginning,” said Prasanna Acharya, Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

However, in response, BJP targeted BJD by saying that the Opposition party doesn’t have the morality to raise the issue as they had totally handed over the governance to a non-Odia IAS officer VK Pandian.

“IAS is an all-India cadre. BJD had completely handed over the governance to Pandian. However, we have not done anything like that. That is their mentality and let it be with them,” said senior BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra.

Meanwhile, as per political analysts, BJD has lost its relevance after failing to open its account in the Lok Sabha elections.

“BJD has lost its relevance by failing to open its account in the Lok Sabha. Hence, they are acting as Opposition to give a feeling to the party workers that they are fighting against BJP,” said political analyst Rabi Das.

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