Bhubaneswar: Battle lines have already been drawn for the biggest political battle of the country with the announcement of the poll dates for the General Elections and assembly elections for four states. All political parties are flexing their muscles and busy with their own war room strategies - strategies, counter strategies to out do one another. While the two national parties, BJP and Congress, are trying their best to woo the electorate, the ruling BJD is positioning itself to play a crucial role and kicked off it's preparations in full swing. The Regional parties are going to play a crucial role in the 2019 elections. They may decide the future course of the Indian politics. Almost all states have regional parties that are giving headache to the national ones. In this context, the Biju Janata Dal led by four time Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, all set to go for record 5th consecutive term.
A win for the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the coming general and state elections in Odisha will not only give Naveen Patnaik a fifth term, but also he will be a king-maker at the Center.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party’s position in the state is like “one step ahead and two step backward”, the Congress is daydreaming to repeat a Chhattisgarh in Odisha in the upcoming elections. BJP, which improved its base in the last panchayat polls, is still struggling to reach people and keep its base together. The infighting within the party and lack of consistent ideology may prove dear to the party. Likewise, the Congress has also seen an exodus of its leadership in the state. The traditional vote bank of the party has long been dismantled.
Odisha is going to witness an electoral battle in which all the three major political parties have a lot at stake. In the elections, about 3 crore 18 lakh voters will exercise their franchise simultaneously for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha to be held across four phases, beginning 11 April.
The Biju Janata Dal, which has consistently improved its tally and successfully formed government in the last four elections, is looking for another easy win. Of the 147 assembly seats, the BJD at present has 117 members. Also, the party won all except one of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 elections. A majority in the coming elections will give BJD chief Naveen Patnaik his fifth term in office. While a shortfall in the number of seats this time will be seen as decreasing popularity of the CM, political experts opine that Naveen has the charisma intact and will easily steer clear of the anti-incumbency factor.
Although the BJP got a surge in the last panchayat polls, it was far behind the BJD. The regional party is hoping to do even better in the ensuing elections. According to senior leader and party spokesman Pratap Deb, “BJD has more than two thirds of the majority now in the assembly. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is a man of actions. The work he has done for the people of the state will bring him again to the CM’s position. People have faith in him and his party. Hence, the numbers will be more than that of last year.”
He said, “our government has done a lot of work for the farmers, poor and women of the state. They will all support us in the coming elections. The BJP has become power hungry and indulging in spreading misinformation. They will never succeed in their evil plans and people will discard them once again.
According to political analysts, Naveen may have the crucial key with him in the coming days. He can play a bigger role at the Center this time. For the development of the state, he can use that key and become the King-maker at the Center. As the Bharatiya Janata Party is seen to be losing ground in many states, and the congress without a clear mandate, BJD is going to play a crucial role this time.