Pradeep Pattanayak

Several Odisha leaders including former Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang joined the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Friday. With these joining, the BRS has literally set its foot in Odisha. 

Besides Giridhar Gamang, his wife Hema Gamang and son Shishir Gamang, former MPs Jayaram Pangi and Ramchandra Hansda, former MLAs Naveen Nanda, Brundaban Majhi, Raghab Sethi and Debraj Seth, noted farmer leaders Akshay Kumar and Seshadev Nanda, RTI activist Pradeep Pradhan, several farmer leaders, social activists and advocates joined the BRS in presence of party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao at a special function held in Hyderabad. 

“Around 500 people from Odisha reached here in 10 buses. VIPs including ex-MPs and ex-MLAs arrived on special flights. All of them are ready to welcome KCR in Odisha,” said BRS leader Rajesh Putura. 

The Party will fight the elections in Odisha on the KCR model. The party is learnt to be preparing a blueprint to field candidates in all 147 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats with special emphasis on some specific constituencies. While four Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly seats of South Odisha have a significant number of Telugu voters, they may emerge as game changers in at least 20 of the aforementioned Assembly seats. 

At the same time, the BRS has taken in some farmer leaders to cash in on the farm issues. 

“For Odisha, our focus is development which is still elusive. The BRS will fight in 147 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats. 2024 is our target and our direct fight will be with the BJD,” said BRS leader Shishir Gamang. 
Revealing the strategies, BRS leader Seshadev Nanda said, “In the coming two to three months, Odisha will witness a dramatic change. All the political parties will experience ripples. The BRS will emerge as a viable party in a very short time span.”

At a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has failed to pose a challenge, it is to be seen if the BRS would emerge as a rival party of the BJD. However, both the BJD and BJP have attached little importance to the BRS. 

“The BJD has stood like a huge tree in Odisha. The party is very strong. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will be elected as the CM once again in 2024,” said government chief whip, Prashant Muduli.  

Similarly, BJP State General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said, “From our past experience, we can say they (the BRS) will fall by the wayside in Odisha.”
Discussions are also doing rounds that in the coming days, Odisha will be in the focus of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.


(Reported by Harihar Chand from Bhubaneswar, OTV)