Why Jual Oram Missed The Bus To Team Modi 2.0?

31 May 2019

Baibhav Mishra

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Bhubaneswar: If 2014 election results in Odisha is considered to be a yardstick, then BJP’s performance in the State has spiralled significantly. Though the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD swept the assembly elections, in Lok Sabha the saffron party managed to raise its tally from one seat in 2014 to eight seats in 2019.

Infact, in assembly elections also BJP could replace Congress as the principal opposition party in Odisha. If the winning margin of BJP MPs is considered, it was former Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram who leads the list.

Jual won with huge margin of 2.21 lakh votes from Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat. The tribal leader has sizeable influence over voters in the tribal dominated western Odisha belt which produced maximum MPs for the BJP this time. But Jual missed the bus in PM Modi's second consecutive council of ministers, despite having a good track record in his previous stints.

After Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee created the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Jual was sworn as its first ever minister in 2004. He was the sole face from Odisha in the Lok Sabha in 2014 and was Modi’s choice for the same post (Minister of Tribal Affairs). Then what went wrong this time?

Senior Journalist Dilip Bisoi said, formation of a ministry is the Prime Minister's prerogative. It does not matter for the PM which MP got how many votes. "The PM considers both administrative and political viewpoints. In my opinion, the Prime Minister has dropped Jual to accommodate Arjun Munda, who is a very strong tribal leader in the national perspective," Bisoi said.

Political analyst Prasant Patnaik said, Dharmendra Pradhan his cash-rich petroleum ministry served the party's interest and Modi's schemes effectively. Therefore he was given priority in the Modi Cabinet. "Jual represents the backward classes and tribals who will be discouraged by the Prime Minister's move of ignoring the former," said Patnaik.

"Last time in Odisha it was only Jual who could win a Lok Sabha seat from BJP and got a Cabinet berth. But this time the proportion in which Odisha BJP performed, the State did not get its due. The BJP leaders in Odisha will be disappointed. Most importantly, Aparajita Sarangi not getting a berth in Modi's team has disheartened many," veteran journalist Rabi Das said.

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Dilip Bisoi, Senior Journalist

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Prashant Pattnaik , Senior Journalist

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Rabi Das, Senior Journalist