Mrunal Manmay Dash

If Odisha BJP president Manmohan Samal’s statement on Thursday afternoon is any indication, it is still unclear whether there will be an alliance between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After returning from Delhi, state BJP president Manmohan Samal said that the BJP will fight alone and form the government in Odisha. Later in the afternoon, he again said, "We will accept whatever the final decision the central leadership takes."

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held discussions with senior BJD leaders and district observers at Naveen Niwas on Thursday evening. Even after two hours of meeting, no decision could be taken on the alliance, said sources.

Therefore, it is expected that some big news about whether there will be an alliance or not may be announced at any moment today.

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “The speculated alliance between BJD and BJP has become too unpredictable and murkier too. Never ever had Odisha seen this kind of uncertainty in politics. It has become too difficult to trust the statements of any leader at this point of time. The only thing certain is both the parties do not want the topic of alliance to be discussed in the open.”

“We cannot even say that everything will get clear today too. Even Manmohan Samal changed his statement yesterday evening. But it seems the alliance talks have reached a stalemate. And expectedly so, because everybody knows it is difficult to form an alliance between the two parties given their history,” Mohanty said.

“But alliance or no alliance, BJP would not want BJD to stand as its rival in the Centre,” he added.

Meanwhile, the more the suspense on the alliance prolongs, the ground-level workers of both parties are finding themselves in a fix. While it is still not clear how much the cadres of both BJP and BJD will accept the alliance between the two parties who have been in the loggerheads in Odisha for the last 15 years, the wait is certainly becoming agonising for them.

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