Elections

Odisha: Naveen Patnaik's BJD Likely To Join NDA After 15 Years Before LS Polls | All About The Speculation

Earlier, the BJD-BJP alliance forged in 1998 tasted success in two assembly elections and three Lok Sabha polls in Odisha. Owing to the difference of opinion in the matter of seat-sharing, the alliance collapsed in 2009.

PTI
PM Narendra Modi with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik | Photo: PTI
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As the latest development right ahead of the high-octane Lok Sabha polls, Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) spearheaded by Naveen Patnaik has dropped hints at a possible handshake with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after fifteen long years since quitting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) . Speculations intensified on Wednesday as the leaders of the BJD held an extensive meeting at the official residence of the chief minister.

Furthermore, it has been reported that the BJP counterparts gathered as well in Delhi to hold discussions related to electoral affairs.

Formal announcement awaited

However, the formal announcement regarding the formation of the BJP-BJD alliance is still awaited. BJD vice president and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra confirmed the discussions but refrained from confirming the formation of an alliance.

"Biju Janata Dal will prioritise the greater interests of the people of Odisha. Yes, there were discussions on the issue (alliance)," Mr Mishra told reporters after the meeting at Naveen Niwas.

A press release issued by the BJD stated, "An extensive discussion was held under the leadership of BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with the senior leaders of the party today regarding the strategy of the upcoming Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections."

"It was resolved that since by 2036, Odisha will complete 100 years of its statehood, and BJD and Chief Minister Patnaik have major milestones to be achieved by this time, therefore Biju Janata Dal will do everything towards this in the greater interests of people of Odisha," the statement added.

The BJP-BJD Relation: A Brief Account

The BJD-BJP alliance forged in 1998 tasted success in two assembly elections and three Lok Sabha polls in Odisha. Both parties earlier contested Lok Sabha elections in 1998, 1999, and 2004, as well as assembly elections in 2000 and 2004.

Owing to the difference of opinion in the matter of seat-sharing, the alliance collapsed in 2009. The breakdown was caused by BJD's demand for a curtail in the BJP's share of assembly seats from 63 to around 40, and parliamentary seats from nine to six following which the BJP resorted to withdrawal of support to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's government.

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