Bhubaneswar: BJD vice president and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout created a flutter today saying his party is ready for an alliance with Congress to counter BJP.
"Congress is the main opposition party; if the national party joins us to counter BJP’s communal agenda, we will help it," said Rout.
Non-BJP forces should work together above party lines to counter communal politics by BJP and as Congress is a secular party, there is no issue with contesting elections together, he added.
There is a need for all the secular political parties to come together and unite to check Mission 120 of the BJP in Odisha. Congress should identify which seats it can win from the 147 assembly constituencies, said Rout.
However, he added that party Supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will take the final decision on it.
Earlier on November 2, 2016, BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab had landed in trouble over a similar statement that there will be no harm if the BJD goes for an alliance with the Congress.
However, BJD has not completely refuted the statements of Rout. BJD spokesperson Debashish Samantaray said, "Presently, there is no question of an alliance, Rout may have targeted the BJP keeping in view the country's situation under Modi Government. The Chief Minister can only say if the party is ready for an alliance."
Congress on the other hand opined that alliance of all secular parties is necessary to fight communal forces, but the final decision lies with the party high command. Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingha Mishra said, "Congress may form an alliance with the parties protesting communalism. But the final decision lies with the All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief."
However, BJP said forming alliance is BJD and Congress’ headache. "Presently, they are no more heroes and two zeros together cannot challenge anyone. Therefore, BJP will emerge victorious in Odisha with blessings of the people," said Union Minister, Prakash Javadekar.