BJD, BJP ‘Alliance’ In A Limbo In Odisha; Know The Reasons 

Bhubaneswar: Despite the apparent bonhomie between the top leadership of the BJD and the BJP, why has the much-discussed possible alliance between the two parties for Elections 2024 run into rough weather?

Here are six plausible reasons:

  • Obduracy of Odisha BJP leaders: The saffron party’s state unit leaders continue to be very reluctant to join hands with the ruling BJD against whom they have been fighting for the last 15 years. Quite a few of them have their own personal axe to grind against the BJD. Despite the BJP central leaders’ reported keenness to get the BJD back into the NDA fold, the local leadership is said to have expressed their unwillingness on the issue. BJP state chief Manmohan Samal’s public stand of ‘no alliance’ has not helped matters.
  • Seat-sharing difficulties: The BJD, going by sources, is insisting on retaining its 2019 assembly strength and contest in 112 MLA seats, leaving only 35 for BJP. The BJD is flexible regarding the number of Lok Sabha seats it can offer the BJP but when it comes to Vidhan Sabha the Naveen-led outfit refuses to “increase its risk levels”. This ostensibly is unacceptable to the BJP, which sees it as an unfair deal considering the current ground realities. Again, which seat would go to which party is an area that is tough to resolve with both sides, armed with survey reports, claiming that they have better prospects of winning in several constituencies.
  • ‘Negative’ reports from grassroots: Adverse reactions from the field are believed to be another reason why both sides want to tread on the alliance path with great caution, which possibly has compelled both sides to apply brakes. Both parties are reassessing the merits and demerits of such a coalition and are wary of the fact that it could trigger rebellions within their parties and leave a section of voters disgusted with their machinations.
  • BJP’s loss could be Congress gain: A good number of state BJP leaders believe that the saffron party is benefitting from the anti-incumbency against the BJD dispensation and striking a deal with the Conch party at this juncture would do the saffron party more harm than good. They say if they go along with the BJD in the polls, then the Congress would by default get a fresh lease of life in Odisha.
  • Governor’s feedback: Governor Raghubar Das’ reported feedback to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Odisha affairs is also said to have an impact on the talks for an alliance hitting a stalemate. Das has been actively touring across the state during the past few months and is believed to have shared his insights with the BJP top brass.
  • Government formation dynamics: This too has become a bone of contention with the BJD reportedly not keen on a participatory alliance. The regional party is said to have offered to become a part of NDA without joining the Narendra Modi government at the Centre in case it retains power. The same formula in the state could mean the BJP supporting the Naveen Patnaik government but not having any ministers in Odisha. This, BJP leaders say, is a hollow deal and against their interests as they would end up neither here nor there. This could mean they would no longer be in the Opposition and cannot even exercise power of being in the government, hence only adding to the treasury bench strength (in the eventuality of the possible alliance coming to office) but not having a say in governance.

Also Read: BJP, BJD Toughen Stand As Odisha ‘Alliance’ On The Rocks: All Eyes On PM Narendra Modi

Also Read: ‘Speculation Confusing BJP Workers’: Manmohan Samal Softens Rhetoric Over Pact With BJD In Odisha

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