Collapse of tie-up talks bring cheers to BJD-BJP workers, ticket aspirants in Odisha

Odisha Politics

Bhubaneswar, March 23: The collapse of pre-poll tie-up talks between Odisha’s ruling Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has brought cheers to their respective party workers at the grassroots and ticket aspirants.

In the event of a tie-up between the regional outfit BJD headed by five-time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the saffron party had taken place, around 150 ticket aspirants on both sides would have been deprived of the opportunities to fight Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

The talks between the two parties for a coalition ended on Friday after the BJP state president Manmohan Samal announced on his social media X handle that his party would go solo in the twin polls. Minutes later, BJD general secretary (organisation) Pranab Prakash Das announced that his party was all set to contest from all 147 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats.

Though both parties held parleys for over two weeks to give a shape to the much contemplated coalition concept ostensibly to keep the Congress away, none of them proffered any reason as to why they parted ways. Reliable sources in both parties, however, said the two could not reach a consensus on the contentious seat-sharing issue.

The BJD, which won 115 of the 147 assembly seats (including three in by-elections) and 12 of 21 Lok Sabha berths in the 2019 elections, did not budge from its demand to contest from at least 100 assembly and eight Lok Sabha constituencies. Besides, it was also bent on not allowing the BJP lawmakers to be inducted in the state council of ministers post the Assembly polls which will be held simultaneously with the general elections, the sources added.

“It is a big relief for us. We have solid a vote bank base which will enable us to win at least three-fourth Lok Sabha and assembly seats. I narrowly lost to my BJP rival by a margin of 1433 votes in the 2019 elections. Had there been seat-sharing arrangements this time, my seat would have been allotted to the BJP. Though I have worked hard since 2019 and see a possibility of winning now, I would have been deprived of the opportunity to contest,” said a BJD candidate hailing from Mayurbhanj district.

A BJP ticket aspirant, who lost to the BJD candidate by a narrow margin of 740 votes in 2019, said he felt let down after the coalition talks almost advanced to a stage of finalization.

“After I lost by a narrow margin of 740 votes in 2019, I had fully concentrated on my constituency all these years. I was heart-broken after top leaders of both parties held talks for a coalition. Now, I feel relaxed. My workers are quite happy now that the talks failed and they would go all-out to ensure victory for me,” said a lady BJP ticket aspirant requesting her anonymity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *