Too many loose ends to stitch up grand alliance in Odisha

Besides, senior leaders Bijoy Mohapatra and former union minister Dilip Ray are yet to make up their mind about their roles in the upcoming elections.

Published: 14th January 2019 01:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2019 01:32 AM   |  A+A-

Naveen Patnaik, Odisha CM

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. (File)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  Even as hardly three months remain for the General Elections, efforts of some out of party and individual leaders to stich together a grand alliance against the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Government in the State seem to have not progressed beyond the planning stage.Though some of the senior leaders have already launched campaigns in their individual capacity with an aim to dislodge the BJD Government in the next elections, there is no visible impact due to lack of a coordinated approach among these leaders. 

Political observers believe that announcement by former MP and Utkal Bharat president Kharavela Swain to form a grand alliance against BJD minus the Congress will keep a number of anti-BJP political outfits out of this formation. Besides, it also remains to be seen how far the BJP will go to accommodate such a formation as the saffron outfit is likely to contest a majority of seats in the ensuing Assembly polls.

Other anti-BJD leaders have also finalised their next course of action. Former minister Damodar Rout, who had joined hands with ex-union minister Braja Kishore Tripathy to float Biju Samata Kranti Dal, has now fallen out with the latter and is said to be planning to launch a new party. However, Rout has twice missed the deadline announced by him to float the party. Another anti-BJD leader  Baijayant Panda is also yet to take a decision on his next course of action though he has launched a campaign against the Naveen Patnaik Government.   

Besides, senior leaders Bijoy Mohapatra and former union minister Dilip Ray are yet to make up their mind about their roles in the upcoming elections. After their resignation from BJP on November 30, it was initially speculated that they will join the ruling BJD. Both of them are old Biju loyalists and want to prevent BJP from coming to power in Odisha. Ray has started taking the opinion of his loyalists in Rourkela before taking a decision. Though Congress wants to take in both the leaders, they (Mohapatra and Ray) have not responded to such overtures from the grand old party so far.

Political observers, however, believe that there will be a triangular fight in the State because of the increased focus of BJP on Odisha as is evident from the back-to-back visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national president Amit Shah. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also scheduled to visit Odisha twice during January and February.

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