Naveen sees ‘hung parliament’ in 2019 elections

.... ‘Hung Parliament’ suits BJD as voters are then unsure of clear winner and would vote on regional/local and not national issues

Nayagarh: Virtually setting an aggressive tone for BJD’s line of campaigning in the 2019 polls, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today claimed that BJD will make a clean sweep of all 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha in 2019 elections. Patnaik also asserted that BJD will play a key role in next government formation at Centre.

Launching the 2019 campaign for BJD from Nayagarh on Sunday, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik goes all guns blazing at BJP.  Patnaik made ‘central neglect’ to Odisha BJD’s main poll plank in coming elections.

“Odisha is contributing crores of revenue to Centre. But Odisha gets only pollution and dust,” claimed Patnaik. He charged that Centre has not paid any heed to Odisha’s persistent demand of raising royalty rates for coal.

Making a scathing attack on State BJP leaders, Patnaik said State BJP leaders have no guts to take up Odisha specific demands like royalty rates, special status for Odisha etc before their high command. In the same vein, Patnaik declared ‘our remote is in the hands of four crore Odias’.

Patnaik’s jibe of ‘high command’ when seen in the current context alludes to BJP only. Naveen has not singled out Congress in any of his broadsides launched in his first poll address in Nayagarh.

Political observers see the frontal attack on BJP led NDA government by Patnaik in his very first poll address as how BJD is seeing BJP as its main rival in Odisha. And the assertion by CM that BJD will play a major role in next government formation very clearly hints at the political strategy of BJD to tell voters that no single party (read BJP or Congress) is going to get majority, they added.

What suits BJD is if voters are unsure of a clear winner, then BJD stands to gain in that scenario as people would vote on regional/local and not national issues, feel observers.

Hitting back, State BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra called CM’s assertion of ‘hung parliament’ as a sign of ‘desperation’. He added that BJD itself is unsure of victory as it makes contradictory statements on winning the exact number of seats in coming elections.

Responding to Naveen’s ‘hung parliament’ comment, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the BJD supremo is speaking the voice of Congress.

“Like Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and N Chandrababu Naidu, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wants a majboor government and not a ‘Majboot’ (strong) government at the Centre,” Pradhan stated.

Congress PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik while answering to media queries, however, declined to comment on Patnaik’s ‘hung parliament’ assessment. “This might be their assessment,” he said. Lending a twist, Niranjan said Congress is in poll fray along with allies; as Congress-led alliance will storm to power, some may call it a ‘hung government’.