Bhubaneswar: No doubt, senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra is an influential leader in Odisha politics and has prospects of becoming a State head, but not sans a consistent party platform.
But when sequence of incidents involving Mohapatra, including his homecoming to the BJP, are considered, then it looks that the erstwhile Biju aide is not going to fetch much benefit to the saffron party in the upcoming elections.
Even he made a homecoming following talks with party bigwigs on Thursday morning, conscious voters are still to understand Mohapatra’s predicted contention of a ‘very different poll the State will see in 2019’ and his role in it.
“I returned to the BJP with a new resolution. Forgetting past, we have embarked on new journey to bring change in Odisha. Let us forget the past (about negligence meted out to him by the party in the past),” said Mohapatra soon after talks held between him and BJP national general secretary Arun Singh and national vice-president Baijayant Panda in his house here.
Is the phrase ‘with a new resolution’ appropriate answer to his prediction of an unprecedented fight the State is going to witness in coming elections.
Let us give throw some light on his statement that he, along with another senior BJP leader, had made after sending resignation letter to the BJP national president Amit Shah in November 2018. “Ray has gone to foreign. On his return, our next course of action will be informed to you (reporters) in maximum 15 days,” Mohapatra had told reporters.
From thin, it was abuzz everywhere that Mohapatra and Ray would do something big in politics for the interest of the State and they would probably join the ruling BJD. Their expected return to the ruling party headlined many newspapers for a few days.
What fuelled the speculation is Ray’s all-of-a-sudden appearance in the Naveen Niwas a fortnight back at a juncture when BJD supremo was busy in selecting candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha seats for the upcoming polls. It fuelled the gossips that Ray talked to Patnaik for his and Mohapatra’s entry to the BJD.
Following this, an ‘unprecedented election fight’ seemed to be translated into a reality to a many political analysers as the two founder members of the BJD were taken to join hands with Patnaik to paralyse the BJP’s vague attacks on the State Government every now and then and to expedite the welfare programmes being undertaken by the Naveen Patnaik Government. In fact, many also understood that Mohaptra and Ray were impressed by the humbleness of Patnaik over the years.
It was also discussed in many circles that Patnaik put some conditions for Mohapatra to join the BJD to which the latter didn’t agree. Indirectly, it became a public conception that Patnaik is not much agog to accept Mohapara after his 20 years’ detachment.
Notably, it was Mohapatra who had brought the dal scam to the fore and raised many important issued that that put the State Government in trouble in the past. But “autocratic” attitude of BJP leadership distanced Mohapatra from the party gradually.