Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: When the Naveen-led BJD is giving every inch of its support to the Modi-led government on crucial national issues like Article 370, Triple Talaq etc, the 'people's CM' and 'proud Uncle' of BJP and former MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has today very subtly laid out the nuances of current and future relationship between BJD and BJP in Odisha.

The nuances of the amity outlined displayed a classic case of the policy of 'Dosti' (camaraderie) and 'Kusti' (wrestling fight) in politics.

Explaining the perspective, the three-time former CM of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, today said, "We are not enemies. Dosti is possible and feasible for good causes or for national causes, but the Kusti against 'misrule' of Naveen Patnaik will continue with a renewed vigour."

Moreover, Chouhan has very bluntly cleared the air by saying "There should be no confusion as far as the nature of relationship between BJD and BJP is concerned. We are battle ready for the next elections, though it is far away now."

Significantly, in politics nothing happens accidentally. Even if it happens, it was planned that way. And BJD's  support to ruling BJP on some vital issues in Parliament has a script behind.

Political observers see it as the 'politician' in CM Naveen Patnaik who is playing all his moves well so as to stymie the fledgling BJP. Unlike Congress, Naveen doesn't wish to give the BJP an emotive issue to build a narrative in Odisha.

So, the BJD's support to the saffron party's core nationalistic issues like article 370 or issues like Triple Talaq et al has a political strategy behind.

How the strategy is working wonder is evident from the fact that it is the BJP cadres on the ground, who stood confused. When such is the state of affairs in the saffron camp, what to speak about voters in the State.

It is in this context, the strident attack by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a soft spoken and demure leader, who was here to launch the party's membership drive,  on the policies of CM Naveen Patnaik, especially for farmers, sounds very significant.

Moreover, the famous words of the then BJP president Amit Shah's words like 'Ukhad ke phenk do' (uproot and throw out BJD from power seat) were on the lips of Shivraj today, which sums up a good tale.

Political observers feel this is new BJP. The party will no more agree to play a second fiddle. Rather, under brand Modi, the saffron party will go for the jugular.

The political import of the Chouhan's visit and exhortation of BJP cadres at a Sanghtan Parv here to be battle ready for 2024 from now on shows the party is not ready to put down the gloves. Rather, annexing Odisha single-handedly will remain its avowed objective, they observed.