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Political Critics Read Between The Lines, Is A Post-Poll Alliance On Cards For BJD & BJP


14 May 2019

Debasish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: Fani was one of the fiercest cyclones to have hit Odisha in the past 150 years. Livelihoods and environment had to bear the brunt of this monstrous calamity and the losses are irreversible.

Amidst devastation all around, Fani set something on track. This might sound absurd, however, this cyclone has smoothened the chemistry between BJP-ruled Centre and the BJD-ruled Odisha.

The relations between the two parties were strained over multiple factors, special category status and Mahanadi water sharing issues topping the priority list.

During the recently concluded campaign trail, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had categorically raised BJP’s apathy towards Odisha during natural calamities.

Fani apparently was Godsent for the BJP to prove its commitment towards Odisha and rebuild the tattered links with the BJD.

Releasing Rs 351 crore before the cyclone to allocating Rs 1,000 crore as immediate post-cyclone assistance, the Centre has been extremely generous to Odisha on this occasion.

The conviviality did not end there. Leaders from both sides took turns to praise one another. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded CM Naveen’s leadership in pre and post-Fani situation, the latter acknowledged the Centre’s timely assistance.

Odisha PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said that the BJP is not going to get majority in this elections. "The saffron party will need support from regional party to claim majority which is why Modi is leaning towards BJD. Moreoever, the elections are over, so there is no need to rant, rather build an environment of convenience," the Odisha Congress veteran said.

BJP leader Pradip Purohit said there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics. “It is all about situations. At the time of need and national interest, political parties come together and work on the same platform.”

On the other hand, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said that it would not be fair to politicize the ongoing interactions. “This is not the right time to talk politics as Fani has been devastating. Let us work together to salvage the affected from distress.”

BJP-BJD coalition cracked post Kandhamal riots, exactly 10 years back. And that was just before the 2009 general elections. So which side the political winds blow will remain to be seen.

Naveen has always asserted that the BJD was equi-distant from both BJP and Congress. However, the regional satrap during the 2019 election campaigns pronounced that BJD would lean towards that party which serves the interests of Odisha.

So, is BJP eyeing a chance to be in good books with BJD and strike a post-poll alliance with the regional party? Only time is going to answer this million-dollar question better.

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Pratap Deb, BJD Leader, Odisha

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Pradeep Purohit, BJP Leader, Odisha

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Niranjan Patnaik, PCC President, Odisha