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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The Elections 2019 juggernaut has started rolling. And when political activities have just started to take on a feverish pitch in the State, it's imperative to look at which political party has scored a 'hell of an opening' in the first few days.

For the ruling BJD, the opening days are not any happy hunting venture as in the last two days, one  sitting MP and one MLA have resigned. When on Thursday Nabarangpur BJD MP Balabhadra Majhi resigned, incumbent Nilagiri BJD legislator Sukant Nayak did so  on Friday.

Such desertions by sitting MPs and MLAs at the start of the poll process sounds an ominous indication for BJD, when the party visions a grandiose strategy of dropping nearly 30-40 per cent of sitting Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha members to tide over anti-incumbency at constituency level and improve winnabilty. But the exodus before declaration of candidate list indicates how the floodgates could open in comings days when the BJD electoral strategy gets operational.

Does the BJD strategy of dropping over one-third sitting members prove a folly? Because, widespread desertions during poll time could be likened to an uncontrolled chain reaction. This in turn could turn explosive for the party when the need of the hour is to ensure as much connect with people as possible.

On the other hand, the main challenger to BJD, the BJP, has made a ‘hell of an opening’ so far when expelled BJD leader and veteran Damodar Rout joined the lotus parivar Thursday. Moreover, political circles are abuzz with talks that sitting Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi would join BJP Saturday, and so also the incumbent Nilagiri MLA Sushant Nayak. BJP with the large-scale inclusions is eager to show off the voters that the party has an appeal. Because, politics is not just all about policies and facts; it's also about style and appeal. It seems BJP is implementing the ' sure fire' strategy of Assam annexation to win over Odisha.

Significantly, prior to assembly elections in Assam, BJP went for hiring spree of big Congress leaders like Hemanta Biswa Sarma and orchestrated a smart win at the hustings later. If BJP's Odisha incharge Arun Singh is to be believed two of its senior leaders - Dilip Ray and Bijoy Mahapatra - will re-join BJP. The party is also winning back its former prominent members like Kharbela Swain. The swift actions by BJP show the party is playing its card well as of now.

Coming on to the Congress party, the party has little to show off. However, the big thing is, unlike BJD, the party has not lost any wicket after announcement of poll dates.


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