Delhi Dangal: Will BJD Bail Out Modi Govt In Rajya Sabha?

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The NDA is hopeful of making up the number deficit in Rajya Sabha with the support of the ruling party of Odisha, BJD, and YSR Congress amid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s call to the opposition parties to defeat the ordinance to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority in the Upper House.

The NDA is currently 10 short of the majority in the Rajya Sabha with an effective strength of 238. Both BJD and YSR Congress have 9 members each.

The BJD has so far been play footsie with non-BJP parties interested to cobble an anti-NDA coalition. After two back-to-back meetings with his West Bengal and Bihar counterparts, he flew to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an apparent bid to rebuff speculation of being onboard Opposition Express.

Political experts, however, were of the opinion that the meeting with Nitish could have been a message to Modi & Co that if they step up their bellicosity against his dispensation with an eye on 2024 twin poll then he very well has the option to join hands with proponents of the Third Front. Naveen met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee at his residence at a time when BJP was firing salvoes at the BJD government over alleged lawlessness in the state.

While officially claiming to have maintained equidistance from both BJP and Congress, the ruling regional party of Odisha has so far skipped all meetings aimed at forging a third front and has instead been supporting the Narendra Modi dispensation at the Centre in almost all issues since 2019. The regional party had lent its support to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 (Reorganisation Bill) and bills proposing changes to the UAPA and the RTI Acts and criminalising triple talaq. The BJD also nominated Ashwini Vaishnav, to the Rajya Sabha, on the request of Prime Minister and the Home Minister.

The Opposition, however, has not given up on Naveen considering that the BJP will make a determined effort to maximise its returns from Odisha in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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