Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which reportedly applied a new strategy in the recent Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, tasted resounding electoral success. Many party MPs, who were fielded as MLA nominees, came out with flying colours. 

On Wednesday, 10 out of the 12 MPs, who won and got elected as MLAs in the three states, resigned. Now, many political observers wonder if the BJP is mulling a similar formula in Odisha. Will the party MPs be told to contest in the Assembly seats in 2024? 

It is said that the BJP is now more ambitious and focused in Odisha, after stupendous electoral victories in the three states. Meanwhile, the Central BJP leadership has called Odisha unit president, Manmohan Samal to New Delhi amid speculation that the strategy to be adopted for Odisha will be discussed with him.

As per reports, 12 MPs who contested in Assembly seats in the three states scripted electoral success. Ten of these MPs resigned today. Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and MP Prahallad Patel are among them. Two other MPs Baba Balaknath and Renuka Singh are going to put in their papers soon. 

In another significant development, some national media speculated that the BJP will install three new faces as chief ministers in these states. The 12 heavyweight MPs, after winning elections as MLAs, are in the race for chief minister posts.   

As many as 21 MPs were fielded as MLA nominees in the three states. Three Union ministers and seven MPs contested in Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh alone. By adopting this strategy, many believe that the BJP could mitigate anti-incumbency in the three states. This also helped the party to retain its vote base in three to four Assembly segments under an MP seat.   

Now, speculation is rife that the party may field at least six out of eight MPs as MLA nominees in Odisha. MPs like Basant Panda, Sangita Singhdeo, Suresh Pujari, Nitesh Gangadev, Pratap Sarangi, and Bishweswar Tudu are the probables to be asked to contest in Assembly seats in 2024.   

Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Ashwini Vaishnaw, who were nominated to the Rajya Sabha, may be asked to contest in Lok Sabha seats.  

Also Read: BJP will form govt in Odisha in 2024: Ex-MP Kharavela Swain

As for the strategy, BJP leader Manmohan Samal, who is in New Delhi along with some other leaders said, “I will attend our meeting and meet all top leaders. Some issues will be discussed. I am fully confident that Odisha is going to see a big change. And this time, the BJP will from the government.”

BJP’s state unit vice president, Biranchi Narayan Tripathy said, "The party’s state unit president along with some legislators has gone to New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party's National President JP Nadda, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit the state soon.”

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