Mrunal Manmay Dash

For the last two days, speculations have been rife over a possible alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ahead of the crucial general elections in Odisha.

However, the suspense over the alliance still continues as reports suggest no consensus has been possible between the parties over seat sharing.

The BJP wants more seats for the Lok Sabha while the BJD is claiming to contest more than 100 seats in the Assembly segment.

State BJP leaders, including state president Manmohan Samal, have been camping in Delhi for the last two days to discuss about upcoming election strategy and alliance, if any.

Meanwhile, two BJD leaders V K Pandian and Pranab Prakash Das went to Delhi last evening and held discussions with the top leadership of the BJP, sources said. It is expected that they must have spoken to top BJP leaders about a possible alliance. The two leaders returned to Bhubaneswar today and later attended BJD's Women's Day function at the Shankha Bhawan.

Commenting on the alliance speculation, senior BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said that nothing has been discussed and no decision has been taken in this regard.

“The state president and key party leaders have told the central leadership that there will be good results if we fight the election alone. Therefore, the BJP will act as per the decision of the central leadership,” Harichandan said.

“Speculations about an alliance are only going on in social media. I do not have any facts about any alliance. As far as I know, there is a greater chance of the BJP fighting the election alone in Odisha. It is better to stay away from the fictitious stories,” he added.

Asked about the alliance, BJD’s Women Wing president Snehangini Churia said, “We will have to wait a bit more. I do not have anything to comment on this.”