OJM will win 80-85 Assembly seats: Pyari

Bhubaneswar: Die is cast. Pyari Mohan Mohapatra is now back with a vengeance to dislodge the BJD from power after Naveen Patnaik expelled him from the party last year. Pyari, who has a formidable reputation as a political strategist, formally launched the Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) here on Tuesday and true to his style, he exuded confidence that the OJM will win at least 80-85 Assembly seats in 2014 polls by joining hands with like-minded parties.

In his speech, Pyari took a dig at Naveen saying, “People of the state will no longer tolerate British rule. People who do not understand anything about the state have to go. English rule will no longer be tolerated by the people.”

Pyari also stated that he would unleash the Brahmashtra against Naveen prior to the polls. BJD minister Kalpataru Das rebutted Pyari saying, “With Naveen’s blessings, Pyari has been made Rajya Sabha member twice even though he lacks capacity to get elected as a ward member. The BJD organization is omnipresent in the state and Pyari’s new political party will have no impact in the state”.

Pyari was a key strategist of the BJD and he eclipsed all other important leaders by emerging as the sole advisor to Naveen Patnaik for more than a decade. After the “midnight operation” of May 29 which prompted Naveen to dub Pyari as ‘beiman’ (betrayer), the septuagenarian Rajya Sabha member was first suspended and later expelled from the party.

In the opinion of some political analysts, Pyari can prove to a spoilsport for the BJD by dividing anti-Congress votes in the forthcoming polls. There are some who argue that Pyari effect can be compared to Keshubhai Patel in Gujarat who could not thwart the Narendra Modi juggernaut, but caused more harm to the Congress vote share. It remains to be seen how the Pyari factor unfolds in the coming days.