Pradeep Pattanayak

Ahead of the 2024 general elections, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and its rival the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have got into a tug of war over celebrating the number-of- years-in-power milestone. 

To celebrate nine years of the Modi government, the BJP will embark on a month-long Jana Sampark Yatra in the State. During this, the saffron party will reach out to as many as one crore families and make them aware of central government schemes like free ration, Awas Yojana, Ujjala Yojana, and PM Kisan Yojana. 

“Narendra Modi is providing funds to the State directly. But you, Naveen Babu, are making plans to siphon off money,” alleged Union Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan while addressing a meeting at Athamallik on Friday. 

At the same time, to mark the fourth year of Naveen Patnaik’s fifth term as Odisha CM, department-wise press conferences are being held to highlight the success of the government. The conch party has also planned a door-to-door campaign to create awareness about its successful programmes and yojanas. 

When asked, Revenue Minister Pramila Mallick said, “Our celebration of the CM’s fourth year of the fifth term will be based on our successful and pro-people programmes and yojanas.”

“People know very well how the BJP government has kept its promises. They thought ‘Achhe Din’ would come. Now they have realized the reality,” she added. 

On the other hand, Congress said it would make people aware of the failures of both the State and Central governments. 

“The Congress party is fully prepared. We will go to the people and unmask them (the BJP and the BJD)," said OPCC chief Sarat Patnaik. 

Political analysts believe that a mega fight will be witnessed between the two parties ahead of the 2024 general elections. 

“The BJD is using the brand Naveen and the BJP is using the brand Modi to win the general elections 2024. Whatever they (the BJP and the BJD) are doing is aimed at the elections,” said Rabi Das, senior journalist.

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