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Why Modi Does Not Like To Antagonize Naveen Before Election?


05 January 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Odisha twice within a span of two weeks, but his political speeches at both the venues (Khurda and Baripada) have been on developmental issues instead of directly attacking ruling BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

While the Odisha BJP leaders and the saffron party rank and file anxiously wait for their poster boy to launch a scathing attack on their political bête noire BJD and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, PM Modi has been meticulously opting for playing safe.

In the wake of the recent drubbing at assembly polls even in BJP’s bastions, poll pundits are of the view that Modi has been careful not to annoy his post-election prospective allies as BJP’s present allies are deemed to be unreliable.

Hence, he is reposing faith on fresh and anti-Congress regional partners in the future, like TRS chief-cum Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) and BJD supremo-cum Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, to carve out BJP-led NDA 3 government at the Centre, the political analysts view.

Senior journalist and political observer Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra said, “While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Baripada speech launched a scathing attack on Congress, the same sting was not for Odisha Government or Naveen Babu. It clearly reveals the behind- the-scene bond between BJP and BJD.”

He explained, “Naveen Babu has been helpful to BJP at crucial junctures despite not being NDA ally. The instances are GST, demonetization, TDP’s no confidence motion, presidential and vice-presidential elections in which BJD has already protected the pride and prestige of BJP.”

He added, “In the recent assembly elections, especially in the three BJP-ruled States Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, BJP was ousted from power. It has been a big jolt to BJP and Narendra Modi. It is being calculated that there is no chance now for BJP to gain single majority and form the next government at the Centre. As BJD and Naveen Patnaik have been coming to aid of BJP at the time of need, Modi does not like to peeve the regional satrap.”

Another senior journalist and poll pundit Sandeep Sahu stated, “The Prime Minister is dragging his feet from directly attacking the Chief Minister. Neither he uttered the name of the ruling BJD nor the Chief Minister. Both Modi and BJP leadership have realized the ground reality that Naveen can’t be defeated in 2019.”

He added, “PM Modi also didn’t raise the Mission 120 in Khurda and today too (at Baripada). BJP has decided to be wise enough to keep an option open for a future negotiation. The recent results of the assembly elections have bound down BJP to mend its strategy. It has also indirectly admitted that next time also Naveen Patnaik is winning in Odisha.”

Also Read: Odisha: Modi Mild On Naveen, Harsh On Congress At Baripada

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Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra, Senior Journalist

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Sandeep Sahu, Senior Journalist