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BJP’s Karnataka Rerun In Odisha May Be Difficult: Analyst


16 May 2018

Ajesh Mallick


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Bhubaneswar: Even though BJP national president Amit Shah has already fixed a target of 120+ seats for Odisha in 2019 assembly elections and is hell bent on wresting power from ruling BJD, poll success in Karnataka may not be reflected in Odisha as per the political analysis of poll pundits here in the State.

Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, senior journalist and political analyst Rabi Das opined, “The fact is that the Karnataka win can’t be termed as BJP’s complete success. Situation in West Bengal and Odisha will be more different for them (BJP). Especially in Odisha context, the situation is obviously different. The reason is that there is no environment for polarized politics in Odisha. In West Bengal there is. Despite that, West Bengal still has a base of communist revolution. Hence, it’s not so easy to tilt the voters in Odisha and West Bengal to Hindutva sway.”

“Both in Odisha and West Bengal, there are no figures having a state-level leadership stature. In Karnataka, the assembly poll was based on casteist politics. But there has been no such elections based on casteist politics in Odisha till date. There has been a time when the Dalits and Adivasis used to support Congress in Odisha. But no elections in Odisha have been fought on casteist politics. Only issue to polarize voters is anti-establishment. But Congress also emerges as a main contender here who has been in opposition since long. Thus, Congress will also bag a major chunk of votes while reaping the benefit of anti-establishment polling against the ruling BJD here,” the seasoned scribe explained.

He viewed, “Under such a scenario, BJP can’t pose as a big danger to Naveen Patnaik in Odisha. Had there been polarised votes based on casteist politics in Odisha, it would have been BJD versus BJP. Now the situation has changed after Niranjan Patnaik has become the PCC president. He has been able to check the erosion in Congress.”

Senior Congress leader Sarat Rout said, “We have changed our strategy in Odisha. We’re charting out our road map for victory. Congress is today active here. People have now developed a confidence that Congress will form the next government in Odisha. Those who are at the helms of affairs now, they are old and experienced players.”

“There is least chance of hung assembly in Odisha. Gone are the days. The hung assembly era in Odisha has gone far behind. Next election will be a change of guard. They (BJD) were in power and Congress has been in the main opposition till date. Now Congress will wrest power and they will be in main opposition,” the senior Congress leader claimed.

BJD spokesperson Tejeswar Parida commented, “Going by the voting percentage, BJP is in the second position. BJP has suffered a big loss in Karnataka. The Prime Minister personally campaigned for BJP in 149 assembly segments out of the total 222. Despite all hooks and crooks used, there had been a triangular fight in Karnataka and a even regional party emerged there. The way BJP here celebrated claiming it as a tsunami, it’s wrong. Had BJP won 150 seats out the 222, it had been termed tsunami. You (BJP) even couldn’t touch the halfway mark of 111, only won 105.”

“Congress has suffered a big failure. It benefitted BJP. JD(S) couldn’t reap that benefit. Hence, there will be no impact on Odisha. Not only this, BJP has been unable to enter Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, West Bengal and also can’t. BJP should learn and stop issuing its statement of sans BJP sans development,” the young Turk of BJD remarked.

On the contrary, Odisha BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma argued, “After Tripura election, Modiji had made it clear that BJP’s entry and targets are Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala. What’s the situation of BJD when Manik Sarkar could be uprooted by the people of Odisha?”

“Actually BJD is scared in some way. Even the common man will say that such scare has prompted Naveen Patnaik to be on his toes,” the BJP spokesperson lampooned.

Also Read: BJP Indulging In Horse Trading In Karnataka, Offering Rs 100 Crores & Cabinet Posts: Kumaraswamy

Also Read: Fight For Mahanadi Waters Is Not Only Of BJD, But Of Entire Odisha: CM Naveen Patnaik

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Rabi Das, Senior Journalist, Odisha

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Sarat Rout, Senior Congress Leader, Odisha

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Tejeswar Parida, Spokesperson, BJD

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Sajjan Sharma, Spokesperson, BJP, Odisha

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