Odishatv Bureau

The ongoing exodus of leaders ahead of the crucial general elections has heated up the political climate in Odisha. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to strengthen its base in the state and grows stronger with each passing day, thanks to the exodus of leaders to the party, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) seems to be grappling with acute factionalism.

In a major jolt to the BJD, sitting MLA Arabinda Dhali resigned from the primary membership of the ruling party on Saturday. Dhali, who represents Bhubaneswar Jayadev Assembly constituency, sent his resignation letter to party supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today. Besides, former MLA Rajendra Das will reportedly join the BJP on March 4. Das had earlier contested Dhamnagar bypoll as a rebel candidate after BJD fielded Abanti Das. He was subsequently expelled by the BJD.

Speaking to OTV, Dhali informed that he will join the BJP on March 3. Though rumours are making rounds that Dhali has resigned as he felt neglected by those currently managing the party affairs, the legislator didn’t divulge anything about the reason behind his move. However, he told OTV that he would ‘reveal everything tomorrow, and the BJP will decide his future course of action’.

BJP, BJD & The Current Political Situation In Odisha

Exodus of Dissidents & Biggies:

If Dhali joins the BJP on Sunday, he will become the third legislator to switch to the saffron camp in less than two weeks. On February 21, suspended BJD leader and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi joined the BJP while another suspended BJD leader and Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev joined the saffron party on February 29. Besides, the BJP claims that several BJD and Congress leaders are in touch with the party and they will join the party in the coming days.

No to Alliance in Odisha:

There are rumours making rounds that the BJD was mulling over returning to the NDA fold ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, but the state unit of the BJP was in no mood for an alliance in the state. After returning from the election management committee meeting in Delhi, Odisha BJP Chief Manmohan Samal informed that the party will not enter into any alliance in the State. While ruling out the prospects of an alliance, the state unit chief made it clear that the party will contest in all the 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 Assembly seats in Odisha.

Resentment & Factionalism in BJD:

Recently, the BJD revealed that it has received more than 10,000 applications for party tickets for the 2024 polls; and even on Saturday, a huge gathering of BJD ticket aspirants was seen outside the official residence of the Odisha Chief Minister in Bhubaneswar. So, the BJD continues to face the problem of surplus amid brewing resentment among its leaders and workers. Meanwhile, the BJP is seeing gains in these alleged infightings and factionalism in the ruling party, as, for the unhappy and the disgruntled lot, the saffron party is presently the best option with Odisha Congress not being in the sight.

Moreover, the BJP is confident of encashing the anti-incumbency in Odisha while riding on the Modi wave. While the BJP is reaching out to people highlighting the development and pro-people schemes of the Modi government, the BJD has announced a plethora of schemes to woo voters ahead of the general elections and is hopeful of forming the government in Odisha for the fifth time in a row.