Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odisha unit of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has finally shown its cards, claiming the party will form the government in Odisha. On the other hand, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress pooh-poohed the claim. 

The BRS on Sunday asserted that several high-profile leaders are going to join the BRS in a month. In the first phase, leaders of the erstwhile Janata Dal will join. Then the leaders of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress who are sidelined in their respective parties will join. A lion share of these leaders will be from the ruling BJD. 

The Odisha unit of the BRS also said they are going to replicate the Telangana models in Odisha. For this, a two-point yojana has already been formulated. First, capable people will be given the charge of the 147 Assembly constituencies. Second, the party will go to the villages with its party symbol ‘car’. 

“The leaders once in the Janata Dal will be the first ones to join the party. Then the leaders of the BJD, the BJP and the Congress sidelined in their parties will come. Our party symbol is car. It will reach each and every village of Odisha,” said BRS leader Jayaram Pangi. 

Echoing the same, another BRS leader Akshay Kumar said, “If the political backbone of the farmers is not strengthened, farmers will be bargained. The Telangana model will be suitable for this. This month, we will bring the potential persons of the 147 constituencies to the centre.”

Meanwhile, the political corridors in the State are abuzz with the tittle-tattle about leaders like Bijoy Mohapatra and Dilip Ray, Debasish Nayak and former MP Tathagata Satpathy from the BJD and Mohammed Moquim joining the BRS. 

On the other hand, the BJD, the BJP and the Congress attached little importance to the claim of the BRS leaders.
State BJP president Samir Mohanty said, “Time will say whether people will sideline the party or vote to power.”

Similarly, OPCC president Sarat Patnaik said, “It is common to find parties claiming to form the government. But the reality is far from the truth. There will be no BRS impact on Odisha. So the real fight in the 2024 general elections will be between the BJD and the Congress. 

In his reaction, BJD MLA Sashi Bhushan Behera said, “By the time the people of Odisha will come to know what is the BRS, the election would have ended. It would have no impact on the BJD.”