Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the permutations and combinations are taking place in the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) following the formal joining of bureaucrat-turned-politician VK Pandian, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress launched a scathing attack on the ruling dispensation. 

State BJP President Manmohan Samal observed that Pandian’s induction into the BJD will have little impact on the coming general elections. 

“It is good that he will now do politics openly. In the democratic system, all can do politics. His joining the politics is in no way challenging for us. We have seen many joining and existing politics,” said Samal. 

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Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi, who has been ousted from the BJD, said, “The state right now is a deepfake state with a deepfake government. Odisha is heading towards a disaster politically, economically, culturally as well as socially." 

Senior Congress leader Bijay Patnaik said, “There is nothing new in Pandian’s joining the BJD. We saw this coming. The people of Tamil Nadu are celebrating a man from their state who has reached the top position in Odisha politics. A video of this celebration is doing rounds. We would be happy if anyone in our state would have reached such a height in Tamil Nadu.”

Responding to the statements of the Opposition BJP and the Congress leaders, BJD leader Samir Dash said, “Karthik Babu’s strategies would help the party achieve the 130 number and become stronger. The BJD is an organised party. Here, all have a faith in the party president. The party workers will discharge whatever responsibility the party president will give to them.”

According to political analysts, the upcoming general election that is just five months away is going to be like walking on thin ice for Pandian. It is certain that the party supremo will offer him an important post, though the air regarding this is not clear as yet. It is also being discussed that he may play an important role in ticket distribution. In that case, his main challenge will be to lay the simmering dissatisfaction in the party to rest and to manage ticket aspirants. 

“In the coming days, it will transpire how the rank and file of the party will accept him, how the people of Odisha will accept him, and what will be its impact on the state’s politics. The BJD will try to sail through the coming general elections. And VK Pandian will be at the helm. He may even get a post like party’s president,” observed Prasanna Mohanty, a political analyst.