BJD-BJP mutual appreciation, sign of new equation in Odisha?

Bhubaneswar: Nothing is permanent and nobody is ‘untouchable’ as far as politics is concerned. Take the case of BJD and BJP in Odisha as the two major political parties, who were once at loggerheads when cyclone ‘Titli’ had ravaged the state last year, now seem to be showering praise on each other over post cyclone Fani management and assistance.

What fuelled such speculations are the recent conspicuous gestures of mutual appreciation shown by the senior leadership of both the parties. First it was PM Narendra Modi, who heaped praises on CM Naveen for effectively tackling cyclone Fani, during his visit to Odisha to take stock of the situation on May 6.

A week later, Odisha CM too reciprocated and shot off a ‘Thank You’ letter to PM for lending assistance to the State for post cyclone Fani restoration and rehabilitation. Not only PM Modi, the Chief Minister’s Office also thanked Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for lending a helping hand to the State.

Despite massive irregularities in power restoration and relief distribution post cyclone Fani, there seems to be a change in the stance of BJP towards the Odisha government.

Speculation is rife that BJP might fall back on its old ally BJD, if it falls short of the numbers to form government at the Centre. Even Odisha BJP leader Pradip Purohit has gone on to say that the BJP might assist BJD in Odisha and BJD may support BJP at the Centre.

“Nobody can predict what would be the outcome after counting of votes on May 23. There might be a situation in Odisha where Naveen Patnaik can seek BJP’s support or BJP may seek BJD’s support at the Centre. There are no permanent friends or enemies in politics,” said Purohit.

Odisha Congress Chief Niranjan Patnaik on the other hand took a dig at both the BJP and BJD.

“Even though BJP might win a few seats in Odisha, they have now started to pat BJD’s back as they might fall short of their target. Similarly, for his own protection, Naveen Patnaik will side with the party who will form government at the Centre,” said Patnaik.

BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb on the other hand stated that “Such gestures are merely exchange of courtesies between the governments. Only after counting on May 23, it will be known who will need whose support.”