Himansu Shekhar Rout

Even as speculations are rife about a possible alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ahead of the General Elections 2024, two BJD leaders left for New Delhi in a special flight on Thursday evening, reportedly to carry forward the discussions with the BJP on the modalities of a coalition.

As per reports, 5T chairperson VK Pandian and BJD organizational secretary Pranab Prakash Das left for New Delhi to hold discussions with the BJP. Their Delhi visit has strengthened the possibility of the talks between the two parties which are believed to be going on clandestinely.  They are likely to carry forward talks on alliance and seat-sharing ratio with the top leadership of the BJP. 

If reports are to be believed, the BJP is aiming to fight in 13 Lok Sabha seats of Odisha while the BJD is likely to contest in 8 LS seats. It is believed that the discussion between the two parties on the seat-sharing ratio is taking time. It is also said that either a 13-8 or 14-7 seat-sharing ratio is likely being considered while there are no hints on the Assembly seat-sharing formula as yet. 

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty observed that the bone of contention in the alliance discussions could be the ratio for Assembly seats as the BJD might not be agreeing on sparing more seats to the BJP. The BJD may strike a compromise on the 13-8 seat-sharing ratio for Lok Sabha elections, but the same may not apply for the Assembly seats, he added.

Many believe that there seems to be a lack of consensus on the seat-sharing ratio for LS and Assembly, and hence, there may be some delay in openly announcing the alliance.

In the first phase, the BJD held a meeting with its party leaders in Bhubaneswar while the Central BJP leaders held a meeting with Odisha BJP leaders in New Delhi. 

Meanwhile, Odisha BJP president Manmohan Samal, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and senior BJP leader Manas Mohanty among others are camping in New Delhi. 

It is learned that Odisha BJP in-charge Vijaypal Singh Tomar has told the state BJP leaders to stay in New Delhi, indicating that some development is going to happen soon.

(By OdishaTV Bureau)