Ahead of Patkura elections, BJD-BJP bonhomie puts saffron party candidate Bijoy Mahapatra in difficult situation
BHUBANESWAR: With the political scene in the state undergoing unexpected twists, the upcoming election for the Patkura Assembly seat has become an interesting watch.
Even as the date for the polls is likely to be announced soon, the approach of the ruling BJD and BJP to the battle is under question.
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The growing bonhomie between two political parties during the last one month culminating in BJD’s extension of support to BJP Rajya Sabha candidate Ashiwni Vaishnav has created a situation where they are no longer seen as bitter political opponents.
While Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has gifted a Rajya Sabha seat to BJP, the saffron party has paid back in equal measure with Prime Minister Narendra Modi praising Odisha government’s handling of cyclone Fani while meeting the Indian diaspora in Japan. Earlier also, Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah had praised Naveen for his conduct during the elections.
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The changing equation between the two political parties was seen in the ongoing Budget session of the Assembly where BJP is the principal Opposition party.
Though BJP members have criticised the state government over several issues since the session started three days before, this seems to lack conviction.
It was rather the nine-member Congress party which put the government in an embarrassing situation several times.
In this background, BJP candidate Bijay Mohapatra has a tough task at hand.
Though the BJD has put several ministers and senior leaders in charge of the constituency in view of the election, BJP is yet to start any preparation.
However, Mohapatra has already started campaigning in the constituency and touching every village.
Election to the constituency was deferred to May 19 following the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agrawalla.
The ECI had again postponed the election for 60 days on account of cyclone Fanu and announced that the date will be fixed after assessing the local situation.
The BJD has fielded Sabitri Agrawalla while the Congress candidate is Jayant Kumar Mohanty.