Odisha Elections 2024: Why BJP Cold-Shouldered Bishweswar Tudu?

Bhubaneswar: With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denying ticket to Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu for the upcoming elections, the political future of the tribal leader from Odisha appears to be uncertain.


Tutu, who was elected from Mayurbhanj, a Lok Sabha seat reserved for the tribal candidates, in 2019 elections, was dropped when BJP announced candidate for the constituency. The saffron party has fielded sitting Rairangpur MLA Naba Charan Majhi as Tudu’s replacement from Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat this time. When Tudu was subsequently denied ticket for Assembly polls, observers started questioning whether the tribal leader has become unwanted for BJP.

It is important to note here that Tudu was gifted with a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi government after his first Lok Sabha election victory from Mayurbhanj. However, he soon got embroiled in several controversies because of his utterances, statements and behaviour. Apart from being criticised for his remarks on government officials, he was also accused of assaulting others. It is to be seen whether BJP will keep the tribal leader away from 2024 polls scene. One would like to know why Tudu failed to impress the top leadership of the saffron party.

Sources said BJP’’s internal survey indicated that the possibility of Tudu winning the upcoming election is quite poor. Despite being a Union Minister, his performance report has not been good, while he was often entangled in a series of controversies over different issues.

After his victory in the last Lok Sabha elections, Tudu took little care to build a close bond with the people his record showed poor connect with public. He was also accused of showing bad behaviour and being offensive towards government officials and others. As a result, BJP could not repose trust on him in Mayurbhanj, home district of President Droupadi Murmu.

Moreover, poor performance of BJP in panchayat polls also acted against him. While the saffron party failed to put up an impressive show in the rural elections, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) performed well with a spectacular result. BJD’s increasing strength in Mayurbhanj created doubt in the capability of Tudu.

After denial of Lok Sabha ticket, Tudu’s hopes for an MLA ticket were also shattered when BJP announced its candidates for all the nine Assembly seats under Mayurbhanj Parliamentary constituency. After having failed to get nomination from any of these Assembly seat, Tudu seems to be facing an uncertain future in the political landscape of Odisha.

While supporters of Tudu are hopeful of the tribal leader getting some organisational assignment by the party, others are not quite sure about his future role in BJP. Bagging a ticket for any Assembly seat outside Mayurbhanj is also virtually ruled out. One has to wait and see what role Tudu will be playing on the political turf of the state.


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