Himansu Shekhar Rout

With clouds of uncertainty hovering over the speculated BJP-BJD alliance in Odisha, hopes for the same are reportedly fading with each passing day. Both the parties have intensified the exercise of candidate selection. The BJD is busy holding hectic parleys on its preparedness and reviews in parliamentary seats. 

If sources are to be believed, the BJP has almost finalised the selection of candidates in most Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in Odisha. Significantly, the BJP will hold its Central Election Committee meeting on Friday in New Delhi to give its stamp of approval to the list of candidates.

As per reports, the two parties are said to be disagreeing on the seat-sharing ratio for the upcoming polls. It is speculated the BJD is keen on sparing some Assembly seats to the BJP, but it doesn’t want the latter to be part of the government after the elections.

On the other hand, the BJP accused the BJD of violating the model code of conduct and took up the issue with the Chief Electoral Officer on Thursday, evn as the Central leaders brainstormed on the report of the state election committee which was presented by Odisha BJP president Manohan Samal. 

Sources said, the saffron party has finalised candidates for nearly 100 Assembly seats and 16 Lok Sabha seats.  However, the saffron party is weighing political equations for the Lok Sabha seats of Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Kendrapara.

BJP MLA Suryabanshi Suraj said, ”Routine meetings of the election committee and core committee are being held. Elaborate discussions are going on. The BJP is ready and preparing itself for the elections.” 

After a brief lull, the BJP has started an antagonistic stand against the BJD, by alleging that the ruling party has posters and banners at several places in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. It has demanded immediate removal of these posters, pointing out violations of the model code of conduct.

After returning from New Delhi this evening, Odisha BJP president Manmohan Samal said, "Home Minister Amit Shah has already told everything. There is no confusion about it. You will be informed if any decision is taken. Soon a list of candidates will be announced."

On the other hand, the BJD has been reviewing party's poll preparedness for the LS seats at Naveen Niwas every day. The ruling party on Thursday took stock of the party’s organizational activities in four LS seats. 

Coming after a review meeting, BJD MLA Latika Pradhan said, ”We discussed organizational activities which were reviewed too. And there was no discussion on the alliance.”  

Political analyst and senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, ” Given indications from the two parties, both have diverged from the alliance possibility. The BJP leaders met the CEC and raised allegations against the BJD that it has violated the model code of conduct.  The BJD is also carrying on its candidate selection exercise.”  

Senior journalist Rabi Das said,”Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik says the party will fight in not less than 100 seats. In case of a coalition and the BJP wanting a partnership government, it will not be acceptable to him.”

  • Reported by: