New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Finally Prime Minister Narenda Modi has put all speculations of being a candidate from Puri lok sabha constituency in 2019 to rest saying that the buzz was just a media creation.
In an interview to news agency ANI, he cleared the air that no such decision has been taken in this regard yet and the speculation was created by media.
In an hour-long interview Modi said on the matter that media should get something to discuss and such discussion should go. (Mediawalon ko bhi to kuch kaam milna chahiye…chalta rehta he).
Notably, it was widely speculated that BJP is mulling to project Modi as a candidate from Puri Lok Sabha constituency in an apparent bid to increase its seat share in coastal Odisha, mostly the way Modi did it in Vanarasi and Uttar Pradhesh in 2014.
In a desperate bid to turn around its fortune, the Odisha unit of BJP also expressed willingness that Modi should contest from Puri.
Meanwhile Modi’s denial to contest from Puri has raised many questions in political circle in Odisha. Even many political pundits and leaders find it hard to get suitable the answer to why did Modi deny to contest from Odisha, a turf where Naveen Patnaik is probably the tallest regional leader in the country.
Why did Modi deny to contest from Odisha?
Many political observers opined that if Modi would contest from Odisha (Puri Lok Sabha Constituency), the whole election would be Modi vs Naveen and it would draw national attention. In such a case, the Odisha Chief Minister definitely would have more weight than that of Modi. Sensing BJP’s weak organisational strength and apprehending defeat against Naveen, Modi, a shrewd politician has smartly avoided the direct clash with Naveen.
It was quite evident during Modi’s last visit that he was very defensive in his approach, which was quite contrary to his nature while taking in any political leader. No such sting was visible in his address to people during his last visit to Naveen’s land.
Demoralised rank and file at ground level is another reason for which Modi made an escape route from Odisha. While the ruling BJD is making all out efforts to strengthen itself at grassroots level, the booth level workers in BJP are find bleak prospect at the grass root level due to infighting at the top leadership within state BJP.
In case of Modi, the last four plus years have not gone the way he imagined. The Modi Govt. has completely lost the plot as far as fight against corruption is concerned.
Modi promised return of back money stashed abroad within one year. At the end of his term govt realises that not even one pasie has come back.
The ' Achhe Din' promised with much fanfare have simply eluded reaching the common man.
Besides, Modi's Pakistan policy has failed completely. And it was Modi led and not bureaucracy led. Today we see so many lives being lost, both civilian and defence forces, the highest in the last ten years.
And above all the big gambles of demonetisation has failed measurably.
Modi’s Odisha Game Plan Seems to Have Backfired
Pinning high hopes on Odisha, a key state in BJP’s scheme of things in the upcoming general elections, it is Shah, the chief strategist of the party, has set an unrealistic target of 120 plus Assembly seats in a State the ruling Biju Janata Dal is invincible. Modi-Shah duo has put hope on former non-Odia bureaucrat Aparajita Sarangi for changing the fortune of the party. The calculated move, however, seems to have backfired as instead of strengthen the party it has created a sense of insecurity among the top leaders including Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram and others and of course this atmosphere has spiral effect on the moral of the workers at the grass root level.
The Aparajita’s Babuism also did not go well with the party leaders at State headquarter as well as workers at field level.
Pradhan Losing Grip
Aparajita Sarangi’s emergence in Odisha also indicates that Pradhan who was till date was face of the party is fast losing its grip within the party and central leadership is infusing little faith on him but openly unable to avoid Pradhan. It acts as the the party with sailing keeping its feet on two boats
With the inclusion of Aparajita, the saffron party and Pradhan party has lost its sharpest weapon (non-Oriya issue) to target BJD.
Culminating all these factors forces Modi to flee from Odisha to a safer place since if he would lose against Naveen in direct contest, Modi’s political career might be cut short.