Why Amit Shah & J P Nadda Skip Poll Rallies In Naveen Patnaik’s Turfs?

Bhubaneswar: Why did BJP cancel its president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s scheduled campaign programme in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home turf Hinjili and Kantabanji, the second seat from which the BJD president is contesting the upcoming polls, on May 15 and May 16, respectively?

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In what appeared to be a move to directly attack the ruling BJD in its bastion, the BJP on May 12 announced that it had lined up its biggies for electioneer in both constituencies from where Naveen is in the fray.

On May 14, the party without offering any reason dropped Kantabanji from Shah’s itinerary. On Wednesday, the Union Minister arrived in Odisha and addressed two rallies in Sorada and Boudh and a roadshow in Cuttack city later in the evening.

Both Sorada and Hinjili fall under Aska parliamentary constituency and Naveen is seeking re-election for the sixth term from the latter.

Hinjili was also found omitted from Nadda’s itinerary announced by state party vice president Golak Mohapatra. The BJP president arrived in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday evening and attended a women convention on Subhadra Yojana, under which each eligible woman will a get cash voucher of Rs 50,000 if it comes to power. “On Thursday morning, he will conduct a roadshow from Mausi Maa temple to Lingaraj temple in the city. He will also address two rallies in Padampur in Bargarh and Sundargarh town in the afternoon,” he told a presser.

Instead Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma will campaign at Kantabanji in Balangir district on May 17.

While the BJP top leaders have gone all guns blazing against the BJD while claiming to improve its Lok Sabha tally and also form a government in the state, these two developments have fuelled talks of the continuing bonhomie between the top leadership – Narendra Modi and Naveen – of both parties. BJD leader V K Pandian had himself confessed that the duo share a great rapport. “Naveen Patnaik is undoubtedly going to be CM of the state and Narendra Modi is going to be the PM. But there is something which is beyond politics. The two great leaders want to come together for a greater cause. It is a mark of great statesmanship,” the close aide of CM had said in March amid talks about possible pre-poll alliance between BJD and BJP.

While the parties later decided to fight the upcoming elections separately, Shah and Nadda skipping Kantabanji and Hinjili could possibly fuel speculation that the BJP does not intend to upset Naveen’s apple cart.

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