Bijoy Mohapatra Foresees ‘Different’ Odisha Elections In 2024 Amid Speculation of Joining BRS

Bhubaneswar: Even as the meeting of BRS leaders with Odisha’s former minister Bijoy Mohapatra has given rise to speculation that he would join the party, the veteran leader has said 2024 Assembly election will see a different kind of contest.

On his joining the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) after meeting with its leaders, Bijoy on Wednesday told the media that almost all parties were meeting him. But he has not taken any decision regarding joining any party. For the record, Bijoy continues to be with BJP but has distanced himself from the saffron party.

“All parties, including BJD, BJP and Congress are in touch with me. It is not important which party I will join. That will be decided later. But Odisha will see a different elections in 2024,” Bijoy said.

“What is significant in the prevalent political situation in the state is the strategy of the parties. Things will unfold as the election gets closer,” he added.

Bijoy’s comments hold significance as the political climate in Odisha is warming up for 2024 elections and speculations have started about the strategy of opposition parties including BJP and Congress to defeat the ruling BJD which has remained invincible for the last 5 successive elections. The Opposition has failed to make dent on the prospects of Naveen Patnaik-led party even at the grassroots level as was proved in panchayat and urban body elections last year.

Though Bijoy did not make it clear, his statement drops hints at the possible emergence of new political combinations and permutations in the elections. This can be assumed in the light of the entry of BRS in Odisha politics.

Former chief minister Giridhar Gamang, his wife Hema and son Sishir have joined BRS along with former MP Jayaram Pangi, farmer leader Alshaya Kumar, ex MLAs Nabin Nanda and Ratha Das in the presence of the party president K Chandrasekhar Rao in Hyderabad in January.

During the joining function, the BRS leaders said the party will contest all 147 seats in the state in 2024 Assembly election and expressed optimism of winning majority of seats to form the government.

Bijoy, who was one of the founding members of BJD and left it following fallout with Naveen, is known for his political acumen but has been out of power for over two decades. He founded the OGP and later joined NCP and subsequently BJP but political success has eluded him.

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