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Is Odisha Opposition Getting Weaker Before Election?


03 December 2018

Ajesh Mallick


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Bhubaneswar: As general elections 2019 (both Lok Sabha and Assembly) are inching closer, Odisha politics has started witnessing ‘aya Ram gaya Ram’ (party quitting and joining) developments accordingly. Nevertheless, each party (ruling BJD, opposition Congress and BJP) is claiming itself to be at an advantage and having got more strengthened.

Notwithstanding that, the recent political developments have let the poll pundits ponder over if ruling BJD, main opposition Congress and its counterpart BJP are respectively gaining or losing the battle before it has been fought.

Political analyst and senior journalist Dilip Bisoi opined, “For the last few months, ruling BJD’s political stock is abundantly increasing. On the contrary, the strength of opposition parties is decreasing. For instance, the quitting of stalwarts like Dilip Ray and Bijoy Mohapatra from BJP has weakened the party very much here in the State. BJP had won a lone MP seat from Odisha. The credit goes to Dilip Ray as he had allowed BJP a big vote margin for which Jual Oram, who is Union Tribal Affairs Minister now, could win. Or else, BJP could have utterly failed to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in Odisha.”

He added, “Similarly, Bijoy Mohapatra is a well-reckoned political leader in Odisha. His resignation will now prove to be a big set back to BJP so far its coastal politics is concerned.”

He further argued, “As being heard, if Naba Das joins BJD quitting Congress as he is openly seeking suggestions from his assembly constituency supporters, it is clear that he is switching over to BJD from Congress. If Naba Das joins BJD, the political equation in western Odisha will go awry.”

Another political analyst and senior journalist Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra commented, “It may be bitter to taste, but it’s a fact that BJP will be affected due to the resignation of two bigwigs Dilip Ray and Bijoy Mohapatra. Time will unfold what cost BJP has to pay for their leaving the party.”

He added, “Similarly, Krushna Chandra Sagaria resigned from Congress as well his MLA post. Naba Das is mulling to quit Congress. If he does so and joins BJD, obviously Congress is going to suffer a lot in western Odisha. When the exercise of setting the Congress house is being under way to take on the ruling BJD in the next election, such developments will hamper the main opposition’s prospects.”

“Switching parties is a normal process in politics and especially before the elections. Let’s wait and watch which political leader proves to be more influential during the polls after resigning or joining a party,” quipped the senior scribe.

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Dilip Bisoi, Senior Journalist

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Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra, Senior Journalist