Pradeep Pattanayak

With the general elections approaching fast, the two archrival parties in the State- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)- have pulled up their socks to ensure victory.  

As part of their respective strategies for the big battle, both parties are going to confront each other on different agendas on February 14, 15 and 16. During these three days, the State is likely to witness a high-voltage political show. 

While the BJP has planned to corner the BJD-led government over several issues, the latter has planned to target the former by highlighting different issues. 

The Saffron party has no dearth of issues to corner the conch party. It has issues starting from Naba Das murder case to sexual harassment allegation against Tirtol MLA. 

Besides, protesting the deteriorating law and order situation, the BJP will stage demonstrations at different locations in Bhubaneswar on February 14. 
On February 15 and 16, the party will stage demonstrations at the Collector’s office and Raj Bhawan respectively.  

Similarly, the BJD is prepared to counter its archrival. Accusing the Central government of cutting 5 kg of rice of poor people of the State, neglecting farmers in Central budget and ST status to 169 tribal communities, the party will stage demonstration at Panchayat offices on February 15 and gherao block offices on February 16. 

“The law and order situation has collapsed in Odisha. The incident of a cop murdering Minister Naba Das in broad daylight is testimony to the deteriorating law and order situation. The BJP will target the BJD over the deteriorating law and order situation,” said BJP leader, Pradeep Purohit. 

In his reaction, BJD leader Munna Khan said, “We have raised a demand in the Parliament that the 5 kg rice shouldn’t be cut. But they (BJP) have stopped it. We are staging the agitation to get back the 5 kg rice. Whatever they (BJP) are doing is for getting political mileage. But we are not doing that. We are fighting for the sake of people.”

Meanwhile, political pundits believe that the ongoing battle is a part of the strategies for the general election. 

“In place of 10 kg of rice, they (BJD) are getting 5 kg from the Centre. Ahead of elections, rice is a big weapon and the BJD has lost it as people are now aware that Odisha government has no contribution in the 5 kg rice provided by the Centre. And if a wave is created among the people regarding the deteriorating law and order situation, it would go against them (BJD),” observed Rabi Das, a senior journalist.


(Reported by Harihar Chand, OTV)