Odisha Elections 2024: BJD ‘Jodi Sankha’ Counter To BJP’s Double-Engine Slogan

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The BJD has made ‘Jodi Sankha’ a symbol of development in Odisha to counter the BJP’s ‘double-engine’ government slogan in the upcoming elections in Odisha.

Addressing a public rally in his home turf Hinjili, Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday asked the people of the constituency to vote for ‘Jodi Sankha’, which means both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha candidates of the party. “Our victory march will continue. The double conch (BJD’s party symbol) is mark of development. The period from 2024 to 2034 will be decade of Odisha. Peace, prosperity and empowerment will be our identity.”

The ‘Jodi Sankha’ campaign is also being seen as an attempt by the ruling party to neutralise the anti-incumbency factor against its candidates after being in power for 24 years.

Prior to the election rally, the BJD had also released a video in which Naveen clad in a lungi was seen holding cut-outs of the party’s conch symbol and urging people to vote for ‘double conch’ in the elections. “This time, vote for double conch – one for MLA and one for MP,” he said.

The campaign, however, had triggered a row after Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took potshots at the ruling party on Tuesday, terming the video a mockery of a respectable person, “You all must have viewed the video in which Naveen Babu is seen wearing a lungi and holding two conches. He is an elderly person and we all respect him but what all he is being made to do! At least he should have been made to dress properly. His remote lies in the hands of non-Odia agents. It’s a question of Odia identity. People of Odisha will give a decisive verdict against such a government,” he said at a public gathering in Laikera, which falls under Jharsuguda assembly seat and Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency.

The BJD responded by questioning Dharmendra’s intention behind ridiculing the attire which it said was a Sambalpuri weave. While accusing the Union Minister of being envious of Naveen’s growing popularity, party leaders Sasmit Patra and Swayam Prakash Mohapatra showed up at Sankha Bhawan (BJD headquarters) for a press conference in lungis, expressing solidarity with the chief minister.

While accusing Dharmendra of hurting the sentiments of weavers and ridiculing their hard work, Swayam further claimed that the initiative has struck a chord with the people, causing concern among the opposition parties, particularly the BJP.

Both national and state leaders of BJP, on the other hand, have long been talking about the need for a ‘double-engine sarkar’, which refers to the BJP-led government at the Centre and state, and ‘parivartan’ to accelerate the pace of development in Odisha, keeping in pace with the rest of the country.

OB Bureau

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