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Sunday, June 16, 2024, 11:13 am

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BJD’s collapse was caused by their equivocation tactic towards the BJP at the Centre.

BJP at the Centre
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Odisha’s outgoing Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, will hand over power to a new BJP-led government after 24 years and three months. In the Assembly elections, the Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) received 40.22% of the vote, slightly higher than the BJP’s 40.07%. The BJP won 78 out of 147 seats, while the BJD only got 51. In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJD’s vote share decreased by 2.76 points to 37.46%, while the BJP’s increased to 45.41%, a 5.34 point margin. Despite supporting the incumbent in the Assembly elections, some BJD voters favoured the BJP for the Lok Sabha. The BJP won more votes than the BJD, even in rural areas, and increased its urban vote share. Mr. Patnaik’s declining popularity contributed to the BJD’s lower showing in comparison to the 2019 Assembly elections, where it received 44.7% of the votes.

The party gained popularity through welfare initiatives, notably targeted projects in the rural state. Mr. Patnaik was credited with many of these programmes, and his support grew with each election victory.
The BJP criticised Mr. Patnaik’s health and his protégé, former bureaucrat-turned-politician V.K. Pandian, who has Tamil roots. The BJP leveraged the issue of Mr. Patnaik’s succession to undermine the BJD’s support, notwithstanding the campaign’s insularity.

 

The BJP was able to seize the initiative due to a series of BJD defections over time. Prior to the elections, both parties discussed forming an alliance, but the BJP eventually ended the talks. This suggests that the BJP believed it had a better chance of defeating the BJD. The BJD, like the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh, supported the BJP-led government’s controversial policies and acted as a friendly party outside of the NDA.

 

The BJP utilised these parties, as well as the Bharat Rashtra Samiti and Bahujan Samaj Party, as builders to assist them defeat rivals in their respective states. In the long run, these attitudes aided the BJP by attracting support and leaders who defected. The decline of the YSRCP and BRS, as well as the BJD’s loss of power, highlight the dangers of equivocation by these parties.

 

 

 

 

ABHISHEK VERMA


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