Anti-BJD forces join hands to form Odisha democratic front

Bhubaneswar: In the run up to the general elections, two regional parties Samata Kranti Dal and Utkala Bharat today merged to form ‘Odisha Ganatantrika Samukhya’ (Odisha Democratic Front). Utkala Bharat chief Kharabela Swain claimed that the newly formed Odisha Democratic Front will be a viable alternative and will dethrone the ruling-Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Addressing a presser, Swain alleged that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government has failed miserably on several fronts including healthcare, education, employment, industrialisation and agriculture.

“Today, Utkala Bharat and Samata Kranti Dal parties have merged together to form Odisha Democratic Front which will dethrone the ruling-BJD,” said Swain adding that the new front will contest the upcoming polls on all Assembly seats of the State.

Samata Kranti Dal president Braja Kishore Tripathty said that the new alliance aims at overall development of Odisha.

“We will contest the upcoming polls and we urge other political parties and leaders who really want a change, to join forces,” said Tripathy.

Senior leader and Paradip MLA Damodar Rout, who had earlier tried to forge a similar alliance, stated that he supports the formation of the Odisha Democratic Front.

“I welcome those who will raise voice against the corrupt BJD-led State government,” said Rout.

The formation of a new political party has warmed up the political landscape with BJP welcoming the new front. BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty said, “BJP is working towards its mission to win 120 plus seats in Odisha and we are hopeful that we will be successful.”

Responding to media queries whether there will be any coalition of BJP with the newly formed front, Mohanty said, “We welcome those who accept PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s leadership and certainly our parliamentary board will review and take decision accordingly.”

Congress leader Bibhu Prasad Tarai said,” There is less likelihood that the Front will be successful in Odisha as its ideology is still not clear.”

Former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda said, “The way minor girls and women are being raped and youths are forced to migrate outside Odisha in search of jobs, there is a need to address such issues. People want change and I will support who are actually ready to fight against corruption.”

BJD on the other hand claimed that regional parties often merge during elections to save their position but people of Odisha will never accept them.

“CM Naveen Patnaik is an institution and no front will have any impact,” said MLA Debashish Nayak.