Rashmi Rekha Das

Much before the commencement of General Elections 2024, debate over early elections in Odisha seems to have intensified between the ruling Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJD claims that the BJP is not safe after it stumbled in Himachal Pradesh election. BJP’s defeat in Himachal Pradesh has exposed its vulnerability. BJP’s condition is not up to mark in five states. In Odisha, BJP will have a poor show in 2024 General Elections. That’s why the saffron party wants early elections to counter its dwindling prospects in several states. 

On the other hand, BJP says BJD’s popularity is diminishing. People’s support has considerably decreased over the period for which BJD wants early elections.

BJD MLA Sushant Singh said, “If the Centre wants to conduct General Elections to Odisha Legislative Assembly earlier than the schedule in the State, the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, will take a final call on it. There is a huge possibility of BJP being defeated in five states.  There will be a negative impact if BJP loses in five states. That’s why BJP wants to hold elections early.”

Opposition leader Jayanarayan Mishra said, “Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said he has heard Naveen Patnaik government will hold early election ahead of scheduled time. I have also heard the same.  People’s support for the ruling party has decreased over this period while BJP’s popularity has increased manifold. That’s why the BJD wants early elections.”  

Notably, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday hinted that general elections could be held earlier than schedule in Odisha. 
Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Bhubaneswar, Pradhan said he has heard that the general polls may be held early in the State.

Pradhan said this while replying to a question of media persons that whether the Padampur bypoll result will have any impact on the general election slated to be held in 2024.