BJD cadre in a fix over rising BJP bonhomie

The BJD is seen siding more with the BJP-led NDA in Parliament more than the Opposition camp.

New Delhi: The growing bonhomie between the Odisha’s ruling BJD and the Opposition BJP has left the latter’s cadre in the state in a dilemma.

Feedback reaching the BJP top brass suggests that demoralisation has started creeping in among the BJP cadre as the message is going that the BJP is “hand in gloves” with the ruling BJD, which recently helped the saffron party’s candidate in getting its candidate nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

The BJD is seen siding more with the BJP-led NDA in Parliament more than the Opposition camp.

A meeting was called recently by the BJP top brass of party’s core gro-up leaders from Odisha to strategise over its future course of action in the state where BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik bacame the CM for the fifth time in a row despite the BJP’s state organisation and support base increasing significantly since 2014.

The saffron party leaders, sources said, deliberated on how to “thwart” the negative message and to boost the morale of its cadre, especially when a key bypoll is scheduled on July 20.

The state leaders, sources disclosed, were specifically told by the BJP top brass that they need to circulate the message among the cadre that aim is to unseat the BJD and also state leaders should “speak in one voice” when it comes to “BJP’s fight against Naveen Patnaik led BJD”.

For the BJP, the first major test after the BJD retained power in the state, will be the Patkura bypoll on July 20. The bypoll is seen as prestigious for the BJD as one of its founding members and a close associate of BJD founder Biju Patnaik but now in the saffron party Bijoy Mohapatra, will be contesting against ruling party's candidate Sabitri Agarwal.

While the BJP is trying to boost the morale of its cadre, the chief minister has deputed nearly 30 ministers and almost same number of MLAs to oversee and coordinate the campaigning for the Patkura bypolls. Mr Patnaik, himself will be spending two days next week in Patkura, which clearly suggests that the bypollswill turn into a battle of prestige for the ruling BJD. In the recently concluded general polls, the BJP managed to win eight out of total 21 parliamentary seats in Odisha but the BJD continued to hold its grip in the state by winning 112 assembly seats out of total 147.

Next Story