2018 Assembly Election Results: Will BJP change its Odisha strategy?

Bhubaneswar: After the drubbing in recent Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajathan, all eyes are now on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) strategy for Odisha which will go to polls next year. It will be interesting to watch whether BJP will stick to its offensive with its ‘Mission 120 plus’ seats in Odisha or switch to defensive in order to save its position at the Centre.

However, the only solace for BJP is the fact that anti-incumbency could play a major role in Odisha like other States where the saffron party itself became a victim.

Sources said that party is now contemplating to capitalise on the anti-incumbency factor and is likely to chalk out a strategy following discussions with senior leaders at the Centre soon.

“Despite working well and ensuring good governance, people wanted a change and similarly people in Odisha will also want a change,” said Union Minister and BJP leader, Jual Oram.

BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said, “People in Odisha are fed up with the government and BJP will gain from it and come to power here.”

Many believe that BJP’s entire focus will get a facelift after PM Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Odisha on December 24. It is likely to rejuvenate the morale of party workers in the backdrop of the outcome in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

After Congress’ clean sweep in the Hindi heartland, its impact is also likely to be felt on bordering areas of Odisha.

The Chhattisgarh result is likely have its effect on BJP strongholds as the former CM Raman Singh had campaigned in some parts of Odisha during the panchayat polls.

“The recent Assembly election results will also have an impact in Odisha particularly in Western parts,” said Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.

Ruling-BJD spokesperson, Puspendra Singhdeo said “BJP’s position will weaken and as Congress doesn’t have any presence in Western Odisha, BJD will perform well under CM Naveen Patnaik in the coming elections.”