Looks like Congress’ power of endurance is finally breaking. After losing the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman post to the National Democratic Alliance candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh, the Congress seems to have lost all inhibitions and has started to target not just the allies of the BJP but the non-aligned parties as well. Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is the latest target of the Congress after nine of its MPs voted in favour of the NDA candidate in the Dy. Chairman elections. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik has claimed that BJD chose to side with the NDA at the elections held in Rajya Sabha since it is being threatened by Congress’ rise in the state of Odisha. Niranjan said, “Because of this, the BJD voted in favour of the NDA. The Congress party’s resurgence in Odisha has compelled the BJD to have stronger ties with its old ally BJP.”
Niranjan went on to add, “By supporting the NDA candidate in yesterday’s (Thursday) election, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has clearly shown the close relationship he has with the NDA and the BJP.” It is noteworthy that BJD and BJP indeed had been allies in Odisha but the alliance was broken off by Navin Patnaik in 2009. BJP is actually the one gaining grounds in Odisha, this becomes apparent if we have a look at the results of the panchayat polls of 2017, BJP had emerged as the second largest party in the state beating Congress, while BJD had won the majority seats comfortably. According to the results declared by the State Election Commission (SEC), the BJD managed to win 473 while the BJP had won in 297 of the 846 Zilla Parishad seats. This was huge considering the fact that in the panchayat elections of 2012, BJD had won 654 seats, followed by the Congress which had won 128 and BJP had been restricted to just 36 of the total 854 seats. His claims that BJD is supporting NRC draft in Assam because of the same reasons is equally stupid as it is a matter of national importance and every party has the right to stand up for what is right for the country.
Congress had not managed to win even one Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Odisha, while BJD had won 20 of the 21 with the Sundargarh seat going to BJP. In 2009 Lok Sabha elections Congress had won 6 seats in the state, while BJD had won 14 and BJP just 1. The data clearly refutes Odisha Congress chief’s arguments. In the state assembly elections of 2009, Congress had managed to secure just 27 seats out of a total 147 with BJD emerging as the clear winner with 103 seats. In 2014 state elections Congress had to remain satisfied with just 10 seats, a state of near extinction. If Odisha Congress chief thinks that this is resurgence, then he probably needs to look up the word.
INC and its leaders from the state therefore have no logical grounds of stating that they are powerful in Odisha. The pitiable situation of Congress is apparent in all the states of India where it has been reduced to the 3rd position. While BJD and BJP could become probable allies in the future as they had been in the past, the possibility that they would be doing so because of the fear of Congress is laughable to say the least.